Non-League Daily Online Article

By Ken Gaunt

Basingstoke Town owner Rafi Razzak has been told £750,000 is needed for ground works at the community club’s new Winklebury home.

That is £500,000 more than Razzak pledged but only, he maintains, when planning permission for 89 homes at the Camrose is approved.

He did not baulk at the new figure, according to community club director Kevin White, who had a three-hour meeting with the owner, along with coach Dan Brownlie..

Razzak is also a director of Basron, the company that own the site, and well-connected Basingstoke businessman White said: “It was the most positive meeting we have had so far.

“They share our interest in getting into Winklebury as soon as possible, which is good. The final figures we said would be needed for the renovations would be around three quarters of a million pounds, which we are trying to negotiate.

“They are saying the value is in getting planning permission on the Camrose. There would be little money from them until that happened with potentially a further payment when the Camrose is sold.

“What they have not done is worked out: what are the costs to buy (the land)? what are the anticipated playing costs? what are the anticipated legal costs? what is the cost of the club rehousing? And what is the end product?

“What I am doing is putting all this into a legal contract. We need to thrash a few of the details out in fairness.”

Basingstoke, who were relegated to the Southern League South division on the last day of the season, start their campaign against Barnstaple at home on Saturday at Winchester.

Martin Kuhl’s side are sharing with their league rivals before moving to Winklebury, where the community club are working in partnership with the Hampshire FA, who are based there.

White said: “We want the C ground grading at Winklebury We do not want to go into something that is inferior.

“If you are handing over this club to a community club, it should be a changing of the guard, not running it into the ground, which is what it seems.

“The dugouts have been sold, the goalposts and training goals have been sold, so have four of the five turnstiles. What annoyed me was we wanted first refusal.”

White added: “We gave them the figures we want, they did not say no. Hopefully we can get through negotiations.

“With staged payments made, planning permission and final sale we get to that three quarters of a million, which we need for the clubhouse and all the other things.

“I use an analogy with the current owners, if my parents lived in the house I owned and I wanted to develop the house an sell up, part of the cost of that development is the re-housing costs of my parents.

“So what am I going to buy for them to live in? Stamp duty, the legal fees, you take all that off and you have some profit at the end.”