History Is Watching: An Open Letter

An open letter:

Mr Razzak, you have an opportunity. An opportunity to rectify a situation that is being watched with great interest by locals, the wider sporting world and its media.

I am writing an open letter about meeting with you and Community Club representatives to discuss the future of Basingstoke’s Camrose ground. I am disappointed that my previous request to discuss this matter did not get a response. That said, looking to the past has got neither party anywhere. We must look forward.

Since that request, the Camrose has been rightly listed as an asset of community value. Our newly elected board has reaffirmed its commitment to save the Camrose. Our commitment to our community is to transform the site into a community sports hub that benefits the town, its people and become the rightful permanent home for our club.

There is no doubt that people recognise the contribution that you made to the club over a number of years. It is also understandable that you experienced deep frustration over the rejection of the Old Common site for the ambitious plans of a new ground. However, what we are unable to comprehend is how and more importantly why you would allow this frustration to lead you to acquire and seek to sell the Camrose ground for property redevelopment.

Having been present at games over that period – you will have seen first-hand just how much this club means to so many people. The Camrose is more than a location, it’s an iconic non-league ground, a protected gift that was handed over to provide for its community and a space for its community to thrive. Something that as a club, we wish to honour and enhance.

The misguided action you are currently undertaking completely undermines your long stewardship of the club. You’d also be aware and understanding of the widening frustration amongst supporters, sports fans and media to this saga. So, we’d like to once again remind you of your opportunity to do what is right for the current and future generations of your hometown, the protection of the history of Basingstoke Town Football Club and your own legacy.

With the refusal of Basron’s planning applications on 23 September 2020, we believe it is appropriate and timely to open purposeful dialogue with you. It is not too late to ensure a lasting legacy for the hometown and club you say you love.

I look forward to hearing your agreement for confidential discussion without prejudice ahead of a major campaign that we would otherwise mount.

Kevin White – Chairman of Basingstoke Town Football Club