NOT that long ago, there was a tv advert for bread in which an exasperated mother ordered her hesitant son Derek to feed the wildfowl with a curt: “Just chuck it to the ducks.”

She might not have said chuck, but it writes and sounds better. However, the point is obvious and one which City of York Council should now heed.

Councillors, officials and other assorted bods of the city’s ruling authority quit all the shilly-shallying, do what Derek has been told and “just get the community stadium built.”

There might be a pattern repeating itself here. I think in this very column 12 months ago, or was it 24, 36, 48 or 60? – the same heartfelt plea was made. Has there been any progress?

Well, not for the ordinary fan, follower or person remotely interested in the well-being of York City FC or York City Knights RFC. They remain as frustrated a football or rugby league aficionado as any that have gone before.

The community stadium is now to be built by 2016, we are led to believe.

But just this past week breaking news has revealed a further fracture in talks between the Council and Knights leader and owner John Guildford.

“Litigious claims were cited by the Council in its dealings with Guildford. Aw, for f...unctionary sake, just get on with it.

Whether you a committed supporter of the Guildford camp at the Knights, or the McGill rulers at York City, the key to all this surely rests with the council.

What benefit does this council derive from not agreeing to a longer agreement for the Knights to remain at their proposed temporary home of York City’s Bootham Crescent than the current two years?

Given how long it has taken to actually agree the building of the stadium anyone should understand Guildford’s genuine fears that there may yet be more delays. So ruling authority just give him and the Knights that assurance and proceed to the next stage.

Would the Council like to be known as the power that vanquished the Knights, that sent one half of this city’s only two professional sports clubs into oblivion?

Critics will point out that the Council has other pressing business.

There’s the Lendal fiasco, which I’d maintain was a worthwhile experiment in trying to solve the city’s traffic problem, it was just so poorly executed. And then there’s the city’s shameful housing shortage, which is criminal in a city where around almost every other corner student accommodation is springing up in the sort of building boom not seen since sky-scraping days in eastern America.

While both those issues demand full attention, so too does provision of the community stadium.

The arena is not just to house any Tom, Dick or Harriet keen on sport – though facilities should be open for all three aforementioned names and thousands of others. This is a home for York City FC and York City Knights, each with their own lengthy heritage and folklore, and both attracting national publicity every time they play. They are on the national sporting agenda.

And even more important, both clubs are interwoven into the fabric of this city as much as Vikings, the Minster, chocolate, railways, the River Ouse, tourism and The Press.

If only a quarter of the attention that went on the Tour de France’s brief arrival in York was accorded to the community stadium, by now it would have been up and running with several years of football and rugby fixtures, and other activities too, already staged.

But no, more than a decade has passed with little movement, save for ten years entangled in claims, counter-claims, field studies, memos of understanding, ultimatums of misunderstanding and enough hot air to have almost matched that of that national buffoon balloon of foul-smelling gas, Nigel “mine’s a pint and a deportation’ Farage.

In the intervening dozen and more years since York City’s Bootham Crescent was shockingly put up for sale by its then directors – who seemed to forget their responsibility as club’s custodians – how much money has been wasted by reports, findings, strategies, programmes, dialogue, meetings of committees and sub-committees, site visits, stadia tours, media departments, public consultation forums and the rest of the rigmarole of spin, spin in triplicate and yet more spin?

Sport is not something to be taken lightly. It is not simply play. It is serious and to not treat it as such is toying dangerously with the deepest feelings of those who passionately follow whatever sport gets their juices flowing.

As another yuletide starts to flow, optimism should be re-kindled. But I’ve got a palpable feeling that in a year’s time, York’s unicorn, sorry, community stadium, will still be akin to plaiting fog