By Sam Greasley-Machin

BASINGSTOKE Town Football Club has launched a plea to Maria Miller to "support the club and get football into the town" in response to ‘radio silence’ from the MP following their problems off the pitch.

The football club launched a plea to Maria Miller on Twitter to extend similar support she has shown online for the prospective closures of Chineham and South Ham libraries to Basingstoke Town FC because of their importance to the community.

Speaking with the Gazette, club director Kevin White said: “We’ve had radio silence from her. We’re trying to build the first team, the three-year academy side and 13 junior teams. If we don’t get the support we need that’s all at risk.”

As reported in the Gazette previously, the football club have fallen on hard times which have resulted in the side being forced out of town from their former ground, the Camrose, to play home matches in Winchester.

Kevin continued: “Nothing brings people together like football, it’s an easy fix money wise and her support is needed. It’s more than 11 men playing on a field. There’s plenty of initiatives across various age groups, which she could be at the fore-front of.”

The Member of Parliament for Basingstoke had previously been awarded the FA’s ‘Grassroots Champion’ award by the CEO of the Hampshire FA in July last year.

After receiving the accolade in Winklebury Maria Miller tweeted: “Football is the largest participation sport in the country-great to have this FA investment in the women's and men’s game in #Basingstoke”

However, the club say she is yet to champion her support towards football Basingstoke Town in regards to their recent issues which threaten to end both the future of the side and football in the town.

The Gazette contacted Maria Miller over the plea and while she did admit Basingstoke Town needs to return home she also stated the responsibility lies with the Camrose land owner, the council and the club to find a solution

She said: “It’s important that the statutory body Sport England have objected to the planning application on the Camrose ground until mitigation for its loss is in place. That is important for the club. So the pressure is now on the Camrose land owner, the club and the Borough Council to find a solution.”

“What we all want to see is Basingstoke Town with a permanent home in Basingstoke.”

Plans to move into a new home in Winklebury, home of the Hampshire FA, have been delayed because of the funds needed to develop the site being held by the private company, Basron, who own the Camrose.