THE current and future owners of a football club have called on fans to not put the club at risk of 'needless' financial penalties over the behaviour of supporters.

Current owners of Basingstoke Town Football Club BT Ltd and the community club set to take on the running of the organisation have issued a joint statement about 'serious spectator behaviour and misconduct by individuals at recent games'.

The statement specifically cites incidents at BTFC's match at the Camrose on Saturday, 20 April against Frome Town and at the Hampshire Senior Cup final four days later, in Eastleigh.

Both parties have alluded to the use of flares at matches in their statement.

The statement reads: "There will be an examination of CCTV/mobile phone footage and eyewitness accounts. We are expecting a disciplinary charge from Hampshire FA which as well as being potentially financially punitive will damage our reputation."

On social media, the club added: "All we are asking is that everyone follows simple regulator rules so that our club can flourish and not be held back by needless, avoidable fines.

"Two recent incidents have led to fines and pending fines, something as a community club we simply cannot afford."

The statement adds Hampshire Constabulary is conducting its own enquiry about an incident at the Frome Town game, although when the Gazette contacted the police force, it said there was no 'active investigation'.

It is understood a smoke grenade was set off at the game.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman added while it received a report of anti-social behaviour at Eastleigh's Silverlake Stadium on April 24, this is also not under investigation and no formal complaints were made to the police.

The community club is due to take on the running of BTFC this summer with a move to the Hampshire FA complex in Winklebury to follow.

The statement added: "Individual supporters will be subject to club rules on unacceptable behaviour where potential sanctions include ground bans. Any penalty applied by the club would carry on to next season. Furthermore, we would like to point out that the proven possession and use of flares is not just a public safety matter but a breach of the criminal law with the possibility of prosecution.

"The incidents involving flares is particularly concerning to Hampshire FA as the future landlord at Winklebury with the potential to incur significant damage to an expensive artificial grass pitch. Such actions if not tackled quickly and effectively could compromise our planned move to Winklebury."