Camrose owner Rafi Razzak has denied destroying Basingstoke Town's former football pitch and says they are simply ‘replanting the grass’.

He has spoken out after photographs showed diggers and tractors tearing up the grass at the club's former ground last week. 

Speaking to the Gazette, Mr Razzak said workers were ‘removing the top soil’ in preparation to lay new turf. 

He said: “I was completely unaware of it at first, but I can confirm that they are not tearing down the football pitch, they are simply removing the top soil.

“We have taken the football posts away because the football team no longer use this football ground, they haven’t been sold they’re just in storage."

Basingstoke Gazette:

The Camrose stadium was the home of Basingstoke Town Football Club for more than 70 years until the club were evicted in August. 

They have been playing at Winchester ever since while the side's future remains uncertain. 

Director of Basingstoke Town Football Club, Kevin White, said: “We were very upset when we were evicted from the grounds in August because the ground has just been sat there for all this time when we could have been playing on it.

“I think it’s disgusting that they have done this, we are now raising funds to put the football club back in the town centre.”

Lord Camrose put a covenant on the grounds to ensure the stadium could be used for the club for 100 years. 

But since this was ground was bought by Mr Razzak, the businessman removed the covenant giving him free use to use the ground for whatever he desires, which is now being used to build new houses.  

Basingstoke Gazette:

The planning application originally offered 89 new houses with a hotel, a restaurant and a care home which has now been revised to just host the houses and care home development as a wider part of redevelopment of Brighton Hill.

Mr Razzak added: “We expected the planning permission to have been approved by now which is why the Basingstoke Town Football Club left at the beginning of the season, so far it has been postponed but we will get the planning permission approved shortly.”