AFTER the Gazette's coverage on the plight of Basingstoke Football Club went viral earlier this year, editor Katie French was invited onto a BBC podcast to discuss the future of football in the town.

Out Of Our League is a ten-part podcast series which focusses on what happened to supporters of Bury FC following the club’s expulsion from the EFL in 2019 and their decision to start a new side, Bury AFC.

Here, presenter Sanny Rudravajhala gives us five stories from the podcast that could provide inspiration for Basingstoke Town fans hoping to return home ...

1) “All the time it’s still there, don’t give up hope.”

Heather McKinlay is part of the Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust. When the Addicks were forced to leave The Valley in 1985, the stadium was left derelict. In fighting to get back home, supporters formed a political party and caused waves in local elections. It helped precipitate a triumphant return home, seven years later.

2) “I had my laptop out in the kitchen, and I just thought, ‘I don’t care, it can’t get worse’.”

With Dulwich Hamlet evicted and the stadium owners, Meadow Residential, taking legal action against them, director Tom Cullen sent out a tweet that went viral. Together with local politicians, it helped pressure Meadow to come to the table and work out a deal that eight months on, got them back to Champion Hill.

3) “It’s how I imagined Chernobyl, frozen in time.”

Bury fan, Ste Kaye’s words are echoed by the actions of Shakers groundsman, Mike Curtis. Even today, he volunteers himself to prepare the pitch, despite there being no fixtures at Bury’s Gigg Lane stadium. Is it possible to undo the work of the diggers at the Camrose and get it ready for football once more?

4) “What happened at that council meeting, was nigh on unforgivable.”

Having had £100m of cuts to their funding, Bury council were unable to justify an exploration of buying Gigg Lane against a backdrop of austerity. Bury North MP, James Daly, disagrees however and believes they can buy the stadium for the town. Given the planning permission refusal at the Camrose, is buying the ground something that the local government is willing to explore?

5) “We don’t have a Roman Abramovich, our rich owner is our fans.”

When AFC Wimbledon announced that they were several million pounds short to build their new stadium at Plough Lane, Charlie Talbot helped organised a fans bond to provide the money. In one month, they raised over £5m. Could the people of Basingstoke do the same and use the funds raised to buy the Camrose themselves?

Whatever the future holds, it could be in your hands.

Out Of Our League is produced by BBC Radio Manchester's Mark Crossley and Sanny Rudravajhala for BBC Sounds. New episodes are released every Wednesday and it is available from BBC Sounds and all podcast platforms.