WHETHER you like football or not, the Camrose Stadium has undeniably been a huge part of Basingstoke's history for decades.

But the future of the stadium and Basingstoke Town Football Club is complicated which is why we've caught up with a footballer insider to talk us through what exactly is going on.

Where is Basingstoke Town based now?

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

The problem with this is it is out of the town and they gain no revenue from advertising at the ground.

Is that a permanent home?

The plan when they were kicked out of the Camrose was to move to the Hampshire FA headquarters at Winklebury. However, this venue needs to a major development to bring it up to Southern League standard

Where was it originally based? Why has it moved?

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 little bit 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. The covenant being lost by the Council. Rafi Razzak and his Basron company who now own the Camrose will give funds to develop Winklebury once they have planning permission on the Camrose site are holding the Council to ransom.

This is because there are plenty of objections including Sport England and the Football Foundation

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.

With the revenue streams at the club non-existence the club are bottom of the league at the moment.

If they do not develop Winklebury in time for next season the team could well no longer exist.

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 are they ripping up the pitch at the Camrose?

Critics would suggest this it 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.

When the Gazette contacted Rafi Razzak on Monday, he said they were digging up the pitch and would be replanting grass seeds.