Ahead of Wednesday's council meeting where the future of the former home of Basingstoke Town FC is on the table, we take a look at the situation. 

Basingstoke Town FC was evicted from the Camrose in July 2019 by their former owner Rafi Razzak whose company Basron wishes to redevelop the Winchester Road site. 

Where is Basingstoke Town based now? 

Basingstoke Town are set to start playing at Winklebury, home of Hampshire FA, from next month if improvements are carried out in town. But for fans and the owners, Winklebury is a temporary solution and does not provide a like-for-like replacement to the Camrose.

Last season, Basingstoke Town played at Winchester City’s ground as they need to play at venue up to the standard of the Southern League which is the league they play in.

Because their games were out of the town, they gain no revenue from advertising at the ground.

What is the history of the club?

Basingstoke Town was formed in 1896 and played at Castle Field and moved to the Camrose over 70 years ago. The ground is named after Lord Camrose who only took a peppercorn rent from the club for using the ground and had a covenant on the ground to use as a football stadium for 100 years.  

During the last decade owner of the club Rafi Razzak tried to move the club to a brand new stadium to be built in the War Memorial Park on a site that Basingstoke and Deane Council had approved. However, at the last hurdle the council refused planning permission. At this point Rafi Razzak and Basron then brought the current Camrose site minus the 29 per cent which owned by the Basingstoke and Deane Council.  

He then needed to boot the club out so it could get planning permission on the site.

What is the upset about? Why are people campaigning? 

People are upset because this is unique that an owner boots a team out of their ground to make a profit.

The ground is part of the fabric of the town on this site and has be the venue for some of the most amazing sporting nights in the town’s history with over 7,000 people there for an FA Cup, also many local cup finals. Money talks and the club and fans have been sold down the river. 

What does the future hold? 

In two words. very bleak.

The planning officer has recommended councillors approve Basron's application to develop the Camrose and has not put in place any recommendations for a replacement stadium.

We need a council who are forward thinking and realise an every increasing town needs sporting facilities for the good of the town. At the start of this century they had the chance of having Wimbledon FC relocate to the town, but turned this down. Instead they went to Milton Keynes. 

Why was the pitch ripped up at the Camrose in February? 

To make sure the club cannot move back into the ground as the Camrose is up to Southern League standard. So making it easier for the council to decide they go to Winklebury. This means Basingstoke loses a football facility.