GLOUCESTER CITY manager Tim Harris accepts the club will lose a chunk of its support when they move in with Evesham United next season.
Fans are not happy at leaving the county and face a 50-mile round trip for home games after their deal with neighbours Cheltenham comes to an end.
This summer marks the tenth year since the club became homeless – and supporters have made clear their disapproval at the long journey as they await a start date for the building of their long-awaited new stadium.
Harris sympathises with their frustration on social media, but insists there was no closer option with the costs of sharing Whaddon Road strangling the National League North club.
Gloucester are moving out of the county for the first time in their history, but the manager is determined to make it worth the commute for those who do stand by them.
He told The NLP: “It’s their choice – I’m not going to sit here and tell anyone what they should and shouldn’t do with their time. We will lose some supporters I am sure, but the club’s hands are tied.
“The fans have had enough, I understand this, but the reality of the situation is that this was the only option available to the club.
“The bottom line is that nobody likes being in exile. It makes running a football club at our level incredibly difficult, every day is a new challenge. I suppose this is a case of making a sacrifice now for something great further down the line, but I really hope we get a good following to Evesham – our aim is to have a great team for those that stick by the club to watch.”
Harris has no doubts that Gloucester will still be able to maintain their passing game despite swapping a League Two ground for an Evo-Stik Southern League South & West one.
“Evesham really do look after their pitch, I have no concerns about the qualify of the surface whatsoever,” the former Newport County boss added.
“They have a number of ground staff so we’ll be well looked after. They will make us all very welcome, I just hope the fans will stay with us and see it for themselves.”
Gloucester chairman Mike Dunstan said: “I would like to thank Evesham United for extending a hand of friendship to us in this difficult time. We look forward to working with them.”