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Partridge hits out at Town board's new ground "obsession"
FORMER Basingstoke Town director David Partridge has accused the board of being “obsessed” with the club’s proposed move to a new ground.
Partridge’s exit from the board of directors was announced last Friday after his resignation had been accepted, in his absence, at a meeting the night before.
The announcement came as a surprise to Partridge, who insists that he never formally tendered his resignation. However, he accepts that he announced he was quitting the board at the end of a heated debate with Rafi Razzak before Christmas – words the Town chairman took as an official offer of resignation.
While disappointed to no longer be officially involved with the club he has supported for more than 40 years, Partridge admits that his removal from the board also came as something of a relief.
“It was like I was banging my head against a wall,” he said. “I just felt that I was not being listened to.
“I had ideas to progress the club and bring extra people in but all of them seemed to fall on deaf ears. They did not seem to be given the time of day.
“The big obsession at the moment is the new ground – but that might be years off yet. The club cannot afford to sit back, stagnate and drift along. We have to make the most of what we have got at the moment and push the club forward.”
Chairman Razzak refutes the claim that he and the board are focused solely on the new ground project.
“The new ground means a lot to the club going forward, but if it never happens, we have in no way burned all of our bridges,” he said. “We are improving in all areas.
"Our latest Sportsman’s Dinner was a great success and we launched an on-site Academy last year, which is a big thing for the club. We are also making great strides in getting Basingstoke Town Colts more involved.”
Razzak added that he was sorry to see Partridge leave the board.
“David Partridge has contributed a lot to the club, as has his whole family,” he said. “The club is in debt to anyone who gives as much time as he has and we are sorry to see him go.”
Much of the tension between Partridge and the board seems to stem from issues surrounding the refurbishment of the artificial pitches at the Camrose.
With Razzak and the board less than keen to carry out the necessary work, Partridge and an un-named partner took it upon themselves to pay for it to be done more than two years ago.
They planned to get their money back by inviting outside agencies to use the facilities – but they are yet to recoup their investment and the details of the agreement have caused numerous problems.
However, further discussions have taken place in the last week, resulting in a position that both sides seem to be happy with.
Partridge comes from a family deeply entrenched in Basingstoke Town and his departure from the board has already had a knock-on effect.
His wife, Julie, has announced that she is to step down as chairman of the supporters’ club in the summer, claiming that her position had been made “untenable” by recent developments.
David Partridge said: “At the moment, I am going to completely breakaway from the club. I have been following Basingstoke Town for 40-odd years, so it’s a real shame, but that’s not to say that I won’t go back again and watch at some point.”