Gloucester City Football Club have issued the following statement with regards to our groundshare agreement for the 2017/18 season.
Following media speculation today regarding our ground share arrangements for next season, we can confirm that we have agreed a ground share with Evesham United for next season. The deal is for one season, but we have agreed an option for a second year should that be necessary.
Whilst the club would have liked to break this news to fans we have always held a strict policy that we don’t negotiate in public, only releasing information once a deal is signed, all signatures were only in place on Monday 23 January. Evesham United have been in lock-step with us on that approach.
We fully appreciate that this is a longer distance for fans to travel, but must stress that there are no options closer to home with the required grading. Even taking voluntary relegation (which we do not believe is in the best interests of the club) would not open other suitably graded options within the City.
We believe that this club, which has represented the City for over 130 years, is worth fighting for and we will fight tooth and nail to keep it playing at as high a level as possible.
We will of course look at ways to help fans with transport to and from games, but would urge all those who support this club to continue that fight. Our fans have always been a massive asset and we need their support now as we have throughout our exile.
With regards to the building of our new ground we are seeking details of timelines from our owner, and will look to share that as soon as we can. Everyone is very seized of the need to return this club to the City and the continuing damage of our exile.
Chairman Mike Dunstan said: “I would like to thank Evesham United for extending a hand of friendship to us in this difficult time, and look forward to working with them.”
Evesham will now embark on the relatively small schedule of works required to bring their ground up to the required standard for National League North Football.
There is a robust plan in place and expert advice has been sought to ensure that we meet the ground grading requirements ahead of 31 March, which is the deadline for reaching the relevant standard.
We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Cheltenham Town for their continued help over the seasons we have groundshared at Whaddon Road.