WORCESTER City fans are “satisfied” with a settlement from former landlords Kidderminster Harriers after banners raising awareness of the club’s exile were “destroyed”.
After a long-running legal battle, Worcester City FC Supporters’ Trust and the banner campaign group accepted a cash offer from Harriers two weeks before the case was to be heard in court.
Fans raised more than £2,000 to create a series of giant banners, one measuring 50 foot by 25ft, to urge council bosses to bring the National League North outfit, who have played outside of the city since 2013, back to Worcester.
They were displayed at Aggborough, where City were playing last season, for their clash against supporter-owned FC United of Manchester on Saturday, March 5.
After the match the banners were left at Harriers’ home and remained on show for City’s next game against Alfreton Town in midweek.
But when fans turned up on Saturday, March 19, to see City take on Harrogate Town they were shocked to discover the banners had vanished.
A joint statement from the campaign group, set up by Newcastle-based Rich Eglington, and City’s supporters’ trust, said: “Unfortunately a cleaner working at Aggborough removed the flags and banners shortly after the Alfreton Town game and disposed of them.
“Over £2,000 worth of flags and banners were destroyed.
“This included flags acquired with funds donated by City fans as part of the banner campaign and also banners purchased by the supporters’ trust.”
Attempts were made to resolve the matter with Harriers, who had been City’s landlords for three years, only for it to prove “unsuccessful”.
But after a claim was submitted to Worcester County Court in June Kidderminster agreed to stump up an undisclosed figure for the trust and the banner campaign group.
“KHFC (Kidderminster Harriers Football Club) refused to accept liability for the cleaner’s actions and more formal steps were required to recover the loss suffered,” the statement added.
“In June 2016 a claim was submitted to the county court on behalf of the banner campaign and the supporters’ trust against KHFC.
“The case was recently settled out of court, two weeks before it was scheduled to be heard at Worcester County Court, following receipt of a settlement offer from KHFC reflecting the merits of the claim.
“The offer was accepted and the matter has now come to a satisfactory conclusion.”
A Harriers spokesman said: “Kidderminster Harriers agreed a deal with Worcester City FC Supporters’ Trust which was on an economic basis for both parties.
“The exact terms of the deal are confidential. However, the agreement is beneath the amount claimed.”
A proportion of settlement proceeds has been paid to the trust while the remaining funds will be used by the banner campaign to put towards making new flags.
Worcester ended their three-year stay at Kidderminster in April and moved to the Victoria Ground where they ground-share with Bromsgrove Sporting.
The trust submitted plans in April 2014 to build a 4,419-capacity stadium on Perdiswell Park but they have yet to go before Worcester City Council’s planning committee.