With the ongoing questions surrounding the Camrose, Winklebury and the community club, we would like to answer some recent questions from fans.
The Community Club gave up on the Camrose
Not true. It is our beloved home and we worked strenuously to stay there. We sought in vain other funders to finance our stay. We sought proposals from other developers to retain the stadium as well as developing housing – but when put forward they were rejected by Basron /Razzak.
We didn’t press on the Covenant.
We actually investigated and were advised that any such covenant could not be used to benefit the wider community. It only applied between the Landlord and Tenant (and their successors) – and that with Razzak and Basron on both sides so they could waive it /do what they liked. Now the covenant has emerged in the public domain, we believe the right step is to seek definitive legal advice that can be viewed by all interested parties.
We didn’t press the Council hard enough
The Council would not entertain investing council tax payers’ money in purchasing the remaining part of the Camrose from Basron. And in any case Basron were looking to profit significantly from their investment.
When we sought help on an alternative sites, the Council firmly stated there was no suitable land within their ownership. Nor did other publicly held land or private land materialise. In any case as a ‘start up ‘ club we did not have the capital funding or ability to borrow to secure a new site ourselves.
By proposing to move to Winklebury we betrayed the case for staying at the Camrose
We only explored Winklebury when all other options for the survival of the football club had been exhausted. As shown by our experience at Winchester, prolonged or even short ground sharing is not financially sustainable and would kill the club. Winklebury provided a last chance ‘lifeline’ and even that was not secured without huge effort.
We chose to leave the Camrose for Winchester
We were prematurely evicted at the end of the 2018/19 season. It was a decision taken by Basingstoke Town Limited/Basron who owned and controlled the club and the ground. The Community Club had no say whatsoever in the matter.
The Community Club should have refused to take over the FA licence to play from Razzak.
If we had not taken over the licence to play, Razzak would have just shut the club down, leaving no team able to play anywhere in that season and threatening junior teams and the academy. That would not have earned thanks from critics.
The Community Club Board needs to dispense with members of the old regime.
The Board – which is elected by members – comprises more new people, with a variety of skills, than those formerly associated with the club. The blend of skills and experience, matched only by the hard work of those who continue to retain affection and commitment for the club is to be admired. We welcome new blood at all levels of our club in elected and volunteer roles.
The Community Club has been loaned £150,000 by the Council
Not true. We understand the Council is not regulated to give loans.
The Community Club is opposed to a move back to the Camrose and is not helping by backing Winklebury
Not at all. If the Camrose were a real choice, we would grab it with both hands. But in the absence of a plan to make it happen, and the ability and funding to wrest control from Basron/Razzak, we need to pursue an immediate option in Winklebury that keeps the club alive.
The strong possibility of the Council investing in Winklebury for the benefit of all levels of football offers us survival while not compromising other options. This needs widespread support.