Newport Football Club will now not be coming home to Seaclose Park, leaving the man behind the scheme 'devastated'.

Tony Wake, club chairman and developer of the team's former home at St George's Way into a retail park, revealed to the County Press this week that Cllr Matt Price's dream of putting a new artificial pitch and stadium on the park was dead in the water.

But he reaffirmed his commitment to building the club a new home at The Racecourse, the intended new site before the Seaclose plan emerged.

Mr Wake told the CP: "I am disappointed it has not been possible to find a way forward with the alternative plan to relocate Newport Football Club to Seaclose.

"It was a proposal that I, and many others, thought had many advantages for the club, its supporters and the wider community.

"Nevertheless, we already have permission for a new ground and clubhouse at the nearby Racecourse site at Whippingham.

"This too will provide an excellent facility for Newport FC and a variety of other users.

"There are still one or two issues we need to sort out but we hope to begin work on this high-quality sports stadium by the end of the year and have it ready for use by the summer of 2022."

The former ground at St George's Way is currently disused but planning permission has been given to turn it into a retail park, with several large stores and two drive-through restaurants.

Cllr Price, member for the Fairlee area, wanted the Seaclose pitch to be at the heart of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to regenerate the recreation ground.

Read more: Support mounts for Seaclose pitch plan.

He envisaged the artificial pitch have been made available to community groups as well as Newport FC teams.

Isle of Wight County Press: An artist's impression of how the new stadium at The Racecourse will look.An artist's impression of how the new stadium at The Racecourse will look.

He told the CP: "I have had great support from councillors in the last and this administration but it is now not going to happen."

Asked why, he said he was being told officers felt it was putting the council at too much risk between now and completion of the project.

"This is a devastating missed opportunity for the football club, the town, the harbour project and Island sport.

"Whatever we did to try and make it happen was never enough."

Speaking last month, Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox, IW Council leader, indicated her administration's support for the Seaclose plan, saying: "It was more Matt (Price's) dream for football to come home to Newport."

She said if it could be facilitated at zero cost to the council, the land remained in council ownership and all the agreements could be achieved she did not see why it could not be put in that location but the decision did hinge on Sports England agreeing with the loss of a playing field.

After playing at East Cowes Vics for a while, Newport are currently playing at Smallbrook Stadium on the outskirts of Ryde.