THE future of competitive football continuing in Basingstoke is at risk according to the new director of the town's club, after it was evicted from its home ground at The Camrose and has no revenue.

Negotiations between Basingstoke Town Community Football Club and Basingstoke Town Football Club Limited and Basron, which owns The Camrose site, have come to a halt, leaving the club facing an uncertain future.

Kevin White, who has joined the board at Basingstoke Town Community Football Club, said he realised the extent of the finance problems at the club when taking over as director, saying: “I, like many people in the town have been keeping up to date with the changing football club and assumed it was a changing of guard, not a complete start-up of a new football club.”

He has decided to make the public aware of the situation after failing to successfully negotiate with the chairman of Basingstoke Town Football Club Limited, Rafi Razzak, and Basron, regarding financing the community club so it can continue in the town.

But he said he now has concerns that the future of football in the town is being controlled by Basron for its own benefit.

The Camrose was purchased by Mr Razzak, owner of computer company Centerprise International, who released the covenant that promised football can be played there until 2053.

Planning permission was sought from Basron, which owns the site and Mr Razzak is director of, for residential and commercial use of the land, which has been challenged by Sport England.

This left the club without a ground and they were evicted from The Camrose, their home for more than 50 years, and left to play football at Winklebury Football Complex, the home of Hampshire FA.

However, work needs to be carried out to bring the Winklebury site up to a Southern League standard.

With no income and entering a crucial season, the club has tried to negotiate financial support from Basingstoke Town Football Club Limited and Basron to help with the extensive renovations needed.

The community club’s chairman Terry Brown, said: “The concern has always been how can we keep competitive football in this fantastic town, when effectively the Community Club is starting from scratch.

“The income that has previously been enjoyed by the football club, namely, the social club, the hand car wash, the betting shop and parking revenue have all been kept by Basingstoke Town Ltd meaning we are solely relying on fundraising and what little commercial revenue can be generated in such uncertain times.”

He added: “Two years ago, Basron Ltd gave us a figure of £250,000 which would be made available to the Community Club to help with ground renovations, however, when quotes for the building work were obtained by Basron, the actual costs ran into two to three times that amount.”

Mr White added: “It wasn’t until I joined the board and looked at the figures that I agreed with what the board had already established, that the amount offered and the cost of the extensive works needed, did not match and that was just the tip of the iceberg.”

He also found there were no contracts between the three different businesses involved, and that the payment of £250,000 for the renovation work is linked to the successful completion of planning permission at The Camrose.

Mr White said this “made me nervous at the fact that the very future of football in the town was trying to be controlled by Basron for their own benefit.”

The community club is now preparing planning permission for the Winklebury site with the hope that fundraising efforts will raise enough.

Mr Brown said: “Due to the constant delays, we decided that we needed to take control of the planning application at Winklebury and work with the architects and other parties ourselves which in itself is a big task. The efforts of everyone involved with the club have been immense and despite trying to resolve these issues with Basingstoke Town Ltd and Basron, we felt that we needed to tell the whole story.

“The support we have had from Hampshire FA and the local council has been fantastic and now we need to move forward and get into our new home as soon as possible, with or without help from Basingstoke Town Ltd or Basron.”

Mr Razzak said he was “upset” by the allegations made, as he has been involved with the football club for 22 years.

Having unsuccessfully tried to secure a new home for the club in Basingstoke, Mr Razzak said he handed it over “debt free” and with the promise of £250,000 to develop the Winklebury site.

“I think I have done enough for them,” he said, adding: “I have spent £10k a month funding the club for 20 years. I have put so far in excess of £2m of my own personal money to support it.”

He pointed out that the income hardly covers the rent, and said money generated from the sale and development of The Camrose will “cover the costs that I have put in with planning permission etc.”