By Ken Gaunt
BASINGSTOKE TOWN manager Terry Brown says that funding for his playing budget has been already guaranteed for next season.
But while outgoing owner Rafi Razzak will continue to back the team financially, Dragons fans have voiced their concerns about how the club will be funded now they are staying at the Camrose.
A fans’ forum will take place on May 23 to explain the intention to move into a supporters/community club owned and run by its members.
Supporters’ Club chairman Martin French said: “Following the club’s recent success in winning the Hampshire Senior Cup further superb news came out from the club, which confirmed we will start the 2017-18 season at our home the Camrose.
“However, this is just the first step of many, in which Basingstoke Town FC and its supporters face over the coming 12 months.
“The owner Mr Razzak, has decided to part ways with the club, but is also intending to redevelop the ground for housing to recoup the money he has loaned the club.
“Where we play in future seasons, along with how we fund the club going forward are still huge concerns.”
Brown, meanwhile, is stepping up his recruitment drive for those willing to go full-time and raise their profile while receiving a small wage.
The average age of the players who defeated Bournemouth’s rookies to lift the county cup was 21 and the majority are on £100 a week.
But Brown is adamant his 18 and 19-year-olds can develop a lot quicker at a Step 3 club than at a professional club’s Academy.
“Some of our lads played 40 games in proper men’s football at a good level last season,” he said. “In my view that gives them a great grounding in the game.”