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Local MP defends Basingstoke Town Football Club, as they look for new home ground

Basingstoke Town Football Club played at the Camrose Stadium for over 70 years.

Maria Miller - the MP for Basingstoke - has hit-out against the landowner of the Camrose Stadium, the former home of Basingstoke Town.

The football club no longer plays at the historic ground, as landowner Rafi Razzak asked the club to leave last year.

He is looking sell the site for redevelopment as housing, but the businessman is yet to receive planning consent - the site is currently abandoned.

Basingstoke Town had called the Camrose their home since 1946.

Maria Miller recently met with the club to discuss their future and the MP told The Breeze it is a difficult situation.

"At the moment they're being forced to play in Winchester, which isn't good for fans and it isn't good for the team themselves.

"There is a way forward here ... but it's really unfortunate that the landowner in Camrose has forced them off the site so early in this process.

"Basingstoke Town is part of the history of our Borough and I hope they are back playing in Basingstoke as soon as possible".

A club source told us playing in Winchester means they have lost revenue - paying £400 per fixture to play there - and matchday attendance has fallen.

Both Sport England and Basingstoke and Dean Borough Council have lodged objections to the redevelopment proposals at Camrose, until mitigation for its loss as a sporting facility is agreed.

Mr Razzak is the founder and owner of IT company 'Centerprise International'.

In response, the landowner told us he’s "surprised" by Maria Miller’s comments and says he "explained" the situation to her - but remains "open to dialogue".

There are now proposals for the club to move to the FA's Winklebury Football Complex in Basingstoke.

However, significant improvements need to be made before Basingstoke Town can move there on a full-time basis.

This includes standard requirements from the league - the club currently competes in the Southern League Division One South.

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