HUSH shushed around the gathering of supporters, some bedecked in favours of red, white and blue, others in two hues of blue, still more in amber and black wasp-like stripes.

“It gives me great pleasure,” said the council dignitary, so pleased at his corporate corpulence that he might well have had the letters SMUG tattooed across his forehead, “to officially open York’s new community stadium.

“May all who hail in her, wail in her, regale in her, fail in her, have a long and happy time together, starting from today, the first day of April, in the year of our Lord 2020.

“This day has been a long time coming.”

You betcha, bluster-merchant.

As you may have gathered, the above is a glimpse into the future. For, as yet, York’s community stadium is still a pipedream still to have reached the pipeline. As such, there remain ample non-believers who think the plans for York City Football Club and York City Knights Rugby League Club to share a ground could yet all go up in smoke. Pfuhff.

This is my second spell of more than a decade on this august newspaper, having returned to these Walmgate offices shortly after the worst transfer in York City’s history, that of control of the club’s stadium to Bootham Crescent Holdings – three words that have spelled the greatest sporting travesty in this city since Viking axes were pitched against Anglo-Saxon pitchforks.

In the intervening 14 years, radical transformation has been wrought from near calamity, even impending oblivion, for both the football club and its rugby league counterpart.

Since the principle of sharing a stadium to the benefit of all was at last agreed, there has been more toing and froing than trying to find a car parking space in the centre of the city on a Sunday.

Enter City of York Council and the entire mix of different agendas only muddied a messy plot.

The thornier question of finance for the new stadium, who will pay what, who will contribute more, or less, who will contribute nowt at all but still stick their two penneth in, has exacerbated an exasperating issue.

What was hoped to be a mere episode is now a soap opera – Consternation Street, Neverenders, Emmerdally Farm and Sorryoaks.

Two, not one, administrations have had a go. Yet more than a decade down the line, not a single blade of grass has been snipped, not a single clod of earth dug at the proposed new home of YCFC and YCK.

But just look around the rest of York for a minute and consider what has been built, what has changed in and around the walled city.

Hungate has appeared and continues to spiral, incorporating housing together with student accommodation. The demand for student living space is presently swallowing up Walmgate Towers, soon to be Walmgate allotment.

There are the seats of learning themselves. York College has moved from its former home to a £60 million base at Sim Balk Lane, while York St John University now boasts an award-winning addition in Gillygate. As for the University of York, its campus is more like a satellite town.

Several schools have undergone immense makeovers.

Two bridges have been built – the one marking the Millennium, near Rowntree Park, and the other affording a new crossing over the Foss.

McArthur Glen has mushroomed, as has Monk’s Cross, while York now boasts its first five-star hotel in the gleaming change of railway headquarters to the Cedar Court Hotel.

Not a corner-kick away from that prestige development, City of York Council now boasts a new home. Where there’s a will, there’s a West fling, eh.

But a new sports stadium? Come on, give us a chance, these things take time.

Not if you live in Darlington, Northampton, Wigan, Bolton, Swansea, Rotherham or Chesterfield – all places whose football clubs now boast new stadia over the past decade and less.

This column, arguably erroneously, questioned the will of both York City and the Knights to work together. That hurdle, while hardly smooth, has been effectively cleared, yet other barriers including scoring political points now litter the path from promise to plan to construction.

It begs the question that sports enthusiasts from out of York pose about this city. Is the lack of political will a reflection of a lack of regard, respect or even affection for sport in this city?

If something needed to be done for tourists then I am certain there would not be a delay of more than a decade.

That makes the shilly-shallying over the new stadium a disgrace. Both the football and rugby league clubs play in professional leagues flying the city’s sporting banner. Yet their followers are being flagrantly ignored.

Do your job and get the stadium built soon. Not another report away, not another year away, not another five years away, or it will be 2020 as imagined above.