In November, Rafi Razzak announced he will be standing down as Chairman of Basingstoke Town Football Club (BTFC), and launched Plan B, the Club’s strategic review to explore the best options for the Club moving forward – you can read the original press statement here.
Rafi has also made it clear that he intends to leave the Club in a secure position before handing over to a new owner. As a result, Rafi will dispose of his shares in the Club, help with any redevelopment and make sure that the Club is financially secure.
All possible options will be reviewed to find the best solution for the Club. This will include looking for a new owner, or owners, to replace Rafi.
Securing a successful future for BTFC requires a clear vision that includes being in an informed position to brief any potential new investors on the Club’s current and future financial positon, and its plans for growth and development in the future – including where it will play football.
Simply telling the world that the Club is up for sale will not secure this investment, and drawing attention to the potential sale before we are ready, will reduce our chances of success.
The following sections explain what we are doing and roughly when things are likely to happen. This process will take time and we ask supporters to bear with us as we develop our plans to help answer the questions we know they will have.
We have previously committed to providing updates and we will do so on this website, when we have something meaningful to say.
To secure the long-term future of the Club, we all need to be positive, a united Club has more chance of success. It should also not be forgotten that we are continuing with our day to day activities such as the academy, training, playing, community, and the running of the clubhouse.
There is far more needed for the successful future of BTFC than simply selling it. No potential investors will get involved without a clear understanding of what they are taking on. Not only does this mean a clear plan for the next few seasons, but also where the Club wants to be in five seasons or more.
The Camrose ground does not meet modern league standards, and is not suitable for the long-term needs of BTFC. Therefore, we are currently working on four options:
Our preferred solution would be to move to a site we can upgrade, as we would be able to build the latest facilities that will satisfy our needs for many years to come.
We need a significant amount of new investment to deliver this plan, this cannot be achieved over night, and so we have started the following process:
The Review – November – March
We are not only identifying workable solution from the four options, but we are developing a Club vision, which will be essential for any new investors. This includes not only a scope of exactly what the Club need now, and in the immediate post Rafi era, but also about the long-term aspirations of the Club. This helps us to be precise about what our new facilities will look like, such as the new capacity for the ground, facilities for the fans as well as changing, training and physio facilities for the team. In addition, we also need to decide on new training rooms for our academy, offices for the new management and importantly a new pitch – ideally an all-weather pitch that could be used for training as well as matches.
All these elements are essential before we can have detailed and meaningful discussions with real investors and the planning authorities.
Developing the options – January – March
As we work-up the best options, we will be in discussion with potential investors and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council – who are the planning authority and therefore a key stakeholder in any potential site developments.
To manage the process of moving to a post Rafi era, a transition management group will be started in early January with the purpose of establishing a new team to help run the Club from next season. The first meeting of this transition group, which will include fan representation, will be chaired by David Knight, current CEO. Further details on the transition group will be released before Christmas.
One important task for the new management team will be the need for the newly reformed supporters club to encourage more members and to help bring more fans to the games, as well as establishing ways for positive communications between the club management and fans.
Consultation and finalisation – March – May
As the preferred option is produced and appropriate financial plans are developed with suitable investor support, there will be consultation with all stakeholders including fans and other interested groups to help ensure a smooth transition.
It has already been confirmed that on 25th May the final decision on the future of the Club will be announced, with Rafi handing over the Club to someone else.
Clearly, at this stage we have far more questions than answers, but we believe this process will provide the best route to an effective well developed plan that will allow BTFC to continue to grow for many seasons to come.
[ 21st March 2017 ]
TalkSport and TalkSport 2 reporter, Tony Incenzo, comments on Basingstoke Town FC’s recent announcements as part of his Non-League Round Up.
[ 22nd February 2017 ]
The Interim Management Group (IMG) for Basingstoke Town Football Club announced in January that it was looking to move the club into community ownership, once its current Chairman Rafi Razzak retires from the Club’s management at the end of May.
Before starting the move to community ownership, a decision has to be made about where the club will play football in the future. Staying at the Camrose Ground is not practicably feasible.
One option reviewed by the IMG was a scheme to raise money by redeveloping part of the ground and simply moving the pitch. However, after careful consideration this option has been rejected as it created operating problems and failed to provide enough money to help relocate the pitch and stands, upgrade facilities to modern requirements, and clear the club’s debts.
The options have been discussed with the IMG and they have confirmed that BTFC will have to move from the Camrose.
After reviewing several options, the IMG has now focused on just two potential outcomes: a move to a greenfield site with the development of a brand-new stadium, or a move to an existing site which has the potential to be upgraded to meet the club’s needs.
Commenting on the move Will Wilkinson, Head of Digital and Marketing at BTFC says: “We are now looking at options to redevelop the Camrose Ground to generate enough money to cover the cost of the land, clear the club’s debts and leave money left over to pay for the move. The key to which option we can take is dependent on how much money we can get from the redevelopment of Camrose. We hope to have a final decision on our preferred long-term solution during March.
“At this stage, it is not clear where we will be playing football in the 2017/18 season, but the IMG will be developing a number of different options, including developing a contingency plan just in case we need to move to an alternative ground while we await completion of our new long-term stadium.”
The Interim Management Group also announced that there would be further updates within the next two weeks and that there would be a Fans meeting in March, once the IMG had got a firm picture on the transition to new ownership. As a result, there will be no Fans Forum this week.
[ 6th February 2017 ]
The next meeting of the IMG has been put back slightly, to 22nd February, to enable further discussions with the Council and Supporters Direct to take place. There will be further updates given shortly after the meeting. In addition, the fans forum is still scheduled to go ahead on 1st March.
[ 13th January 2017 ]
[ 22nd December 2016 ]
As part of Plan B, David Knight CEO Basingstoke Town FC, has organised an Interim Management Group (IMG) which will evaluate the options under review, as part of the proposed long term strategy for generating a sustainable future for the Club. The IMG will also help manage the Club through the transition period following Rafi’s departure at the end of the season.
The IMG will initially consist of 10 existing officials, along with some new external professionals bringing appropriate skills for the transition, as well as supporter representation. The membership of the IMG may change as the needs of the Club develop.
It is expected that the first meeting of the IMG will be held w/c 9th Jan 2017, followed by regular meetings. Updates from these meetings may also be published along with other updates on significant progress.
The IMG will also organise a Supporters Forum, which has been provisionally booked for Wednesday 1st March at 7.00pm, in the Clubhouse. Confirmation of the Forum will be given later, as the timing is dependent on the progress of the options in Plan B.
The initial Interim Management Group includes:
As per the original press statement, Basingstoke Town FC continues to invite all interested parties to take part in the review process, with further details being released via the club website and in line with the documented process above.
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