Basingstoke Town fans have mixed feelings now they will be staying at the Camrose at the start of next season writes Ken Gaunt
While they are delighted at remaining on home ground in the Southern League Premier League, concerns are being expressed already about how the club will be funded..
So far outgoing owner Rafi Razzak has promised to bankroll the team but that is as far as it goes at the moment.
A fans’ forum will take place on May 23 to explain the intention to move into a supporters/community club owned and run by its members.
Former director and Keep Football In Basingstoke (KFIB) founder, Simon Hood, said: “I think its great (staying at the Camrose) and what I have been fighting for.
“It’s a shame the club didn’t listen to fans and the council sooner as this could have been settled a long time ago.
“Time and effort could have been spent on moving the club into a community owned club, rather than fighting to keep our home.
“However let’s not be naïve, this is still only a temporary solution.
The Camrose will still be sold and housing built on it. Once the planning permission is complete then we will be homeless again.”
The Interim Management Group have organised the forum and chairman Martin French said: “Following the club’s recent success in winning the Hampshire Senior Cup further superb news came out from the club , which confirmed we will start the 2017-18 season at our home the Camrose.
“However, this is just the first step of many, in which Basingstoke Town FC and its supporters face over the coming 12 months.
“The owner Mr Razzak, has decided to part ways with the club, but is also intending to redevelop the ground for housing to recoup the money he has loaned the club.
“Where we play in future seasons, along with how we fund the club going forward are still huge concerns.
“The process over the coming months, will include an election of a new Management Board which will lead the club, where the owner it is hoped will hand over his shares and the ownership to the new Community Club.
“I urge all Basingstoke Town fans and members of the local community to come to the forum.”
Article: Ken Gaunt