CAN there have been a more bewildering week in the turbulent history of York’s community stadium than the past five days?

The fiasco of a project that is taking a painful length of time to achieve is descending into ever more farce.

This week’s development in which JM Packaging Ltd, whose McGill family own York City, offered to buy York City Knights – the rugby league club which is scheduled to share the community stadium with the football club – provided a new twist.

To many it was an eye-opener, a jaw-dropper, a bolt from the blue.

To as many more it gave credence to a feeling that this was not entirely unexpected.

It was a twist that set tongues wagging, fresh debates raging, and an eruption of new accusations and counter-claims. And the degrees of debate rose in intensity and velocity kindled by rabid inhabitants of the planet blog and the Twitter-sphere.

Previously when I have suggested the whole community stadium saga might well be best served by the two principal participants –York City FC and York City Knights RLFC – actually acting in concert, a flak of criticism flew this way.

After this week I venture that the two would-be occupants of a stadium, that after more than a decade has yet to have had a single sod turned over, should definitely have their heads banged together.

They are professional outfits, they are destined to share the same ground, yet their relationship has been one of defending one’s own interests rather than seeing the common good inherent in a community stadium.

After all, community surely means working together, or is that an old-fashioned notion in these days of self-centred centrifugal spin?

One of the down-shots of the shilly-shallying and muddied approach – whoever is responsible – is the damage done to the respective fan-bases of the two clubs, this city’s only professional sports organisations.

The stadium odyssey has surely wrecked mutual respect or regard, especially given the responses this week on social media between the two camps of supporters.

It is likely to take many seasons to repair when they do eventually get to share the same home.

But as Princess Diana once coquettishly revealed, there are three in this relationship. The other party is the City of York Council.

Their performance in all this has been at best clumsy.

For an authority that is supposed to do its utmost by its citizens, certainly the sports followers of this proud city have been dismally treated.

Yes, money resources are tighter than ever now as the authority, like so many in this country, has been hobbled by Westminster-driven cuts aimed at exacting resources from the many for the financial morass caused by the well-heeled few.

But the provision of a new community stadium stretches way back before austerity became a byword for shafting the hardest hit while safeguarding an avaricious moneyed elite.

In well over a decade there has been a mountain of fudge constructed by, first, inertia and then a flawed approach, mired in that modern phenomenon of confidentiality clauses - or in other words, secrecy.

In all that time a new community stadium has been on the agenda of various regimes. But as yet nothing has advanced more than an artist’s impression and some more shops - as if York did not have enough.

It’s been a farce that the late Sir Brian Rix would have been hard-pressed to depict in London’s theatre-land.

And one startling development is the impression that the council has taken it upon itself to determine who it talks with in the unnecessarily convoluted project.

Whether or not anyone agrees with Knights owner John Guildford, it is surely not in the remit of a public authority to decide just who it will deal with from a company with which it is scheduled to have talks to provide a solution.

For several reasons aired by the council, it has resolved not to negotiate with Guildford. Just this week the council settled into self-congratulatory mood in confirming talks between itself and some of the Knights directors designated to speak on behalf of the club in the stead of the sidelined Guildford.

Yet when The Press sports-desk pressed to discover what went on in those talks, it was given conflicting reports as to how a joint statement would be “shared” with The Press.

Those talks were on Wednesday – morning or early afternoon confirmed one source – yet despite several requests for a statement, none was forthcoming until.....almost 48 hours later, confirming more talks will be held.

This city of York deserves a new community stadium, not as a pipe-dream and not as a promise.

The sports followers of this city merit a new stadium because it is their right.