The Interim Management Group for Basingstoke Town Football Club announced in January that it was looking to move the club into community ownership, once its current Chairman Rafi Razzak retires from the Club’s management at the end of May.
Before starting the move to community ownership, a decision has to be made about where the club will play football in the future. Staying at the Camrose Ground, in its current form, is not an option. The facilities are out of date and cannot conform with modern standards without substantial new investment.
One option reviewed by the IMG was a scheme to raise money by redeveloping part of the ground and simply moving the pitch. This had the advantage of keeping the club at the Camrose, but after careful consideration this option has been rejected as it created operating problems and failed to provide enough money to help relocate the pitch and stands, upgrade facilities to modern requirements, and clear the clubs debts.
As a result the IMG has confirmed that BTFC will need to move from the Camrose.
After reviewing several options, the IMG has now focused on just two potential outcomes; a move to a greenfield site with the development of a brand new stadium or a move to an existing site which has the potential to be upgraded to meet the club’s needs.
Commenting on the move Will Wilkinson, Head of Digital and Marketing at BTFC says: “We are now looking at options to redevelop the Camrose Ground to generate enough money to cover the cost of the land, clear the clubs debts and leave money left over to pay for the move. The key to which option we can take is dependent on how much money we can get from the redevelopment of the Camrose. We hope to have a final decision on our preferred long-term solution during March.
“At this stage it is not clear where we will be playing football in the 2017/18 season, but the IMG will be developing a number of different options, including developing a contingency plan just in case we need to move to an alternative ground while we await completion of our new long-term stadium.”
The Interim Management Group also announced that there would be further updates within the next two weeks and that there would be a Fans meeting in March, once the IMG had got a firm picture on the transition to new ownership. As a result there will be no Fans Forum this week.