Fan’s protest on pitch to delay last ever game at The Camrose

Saturday 22nd May marked potentially the last ever game at The Camrose for Basingstoke Town FC – an emotional day for supporters. People who haven’t watched the team for a number of years turned up to witness the occasion and say goodbye to the place their team has played for over 70 years. It was an emotion day for all. Some have been attending games at the ground for over 50 years, some have even spread ashes of loved ones who are sadly no longer with us. Emotions were bound to be running high and sadly the Basingstoke Town FC Ltd – failed to understand and recognise this.

Prior to the game, the club Twitter account appeared to be hijacked, which resulted in several interesting Tweets being sent out from the official account, which even led to Maria Miller responding to a Tweet! (The most engagement the Twitter account has received all season). A few hours later the tweets were deleted.

At 2:50pm: a number of supporters invaded the pitch and stood in the centre circle with a KFIB Banner. No attempt was made to remove the supporters. Club officials or stewards did not even approach the supporters and just stood watching blankly from the sideline. Meanwhile two supporters handcuffed themselves to a goal posts. As the players stood in the tunnel ready to kick the game off – supporters refused to move and remained on the pitch. Basingstoke skipper David Ray came onto the pitch and gather the fans in a huddle and talked the supporters to stand down expressing his disappointment at the situation of the ground being sold and that our point had been made. The supporters left to a round of applause and unlocked the two hand-cuffed to the posts. Meanwhile the club had called the police to deal with the situation!

As the players finally came out the tunnel, blue and yellow streamers were thrown onto the pitch and covered the goal mouth.

100 Rubber snakes were then thrown on to the pitch to chants of “Razzak is a snake” Followed by flyers with BTFC chairman Rafi Razzak photoshopped as a robber with a swag bag heading in the direction of Farnborough – being chucked on to the pitch.

Throughout the game blue smoke bombs were set off by supporters. (12 smoke bombs were set off through the 90 minutes each one marking a decade the club had been going).

At half time club officials chose to close the bar due to fears of trouble. Sadly on the pitch Basingstoke couldn’t win the game, but remain undefeated. Following the final whistle Terry Brown commented: “The fans today made their point before the kick-off and I know it is frustrating for them with what is going on with their club but they gave us great vocal support, which they have all season.”

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8 thoughts on “Fan’s protest on pitch to delay last ever game at The Camrose

  • The council at the very least should prevent planning on the ground for the remainder of the original lease the football club had with BTFC.
    A few dog walkers prevented the new ground being built and a couple of councillors,I hope they are all very proud of themselves.There will be mass protests if the Camrose site is built on that is a fans promise!!!

  • the officials at this club are really lucky they have such patient fans and that they followed the organised peaceful protest – shame it had to happen at all really but when we can’t even get a few simple answers to questions and the club insist on treating us like mushrooms, I’m really surprised action hasn’t been taken sooner

  • First point I need to make
    That had to be the most peaceful protest in the history of football
    Left until the last game, so no other game was involved
    The fans, Me being one of them , stood on the half way line, nothing nasty, nothing over the top and left as soon as Capt Dave had had his say
    Secondly, The organised protest on the pitch was nothing to do with Simon, it was organised at the previous home game by one of our more senior supporters

  • It is such a shame that a community club is not supported by the community. The attendance doesn’t point to a good news story, if it was a viable proposition a stronger argument could be made for ground and football to remain rather than a “it’s been here for 12 decades” reasoning. Whilst one hand is trying to support the community KFIB the other “academy”‘is trying to decimate grass roots football with its poorly thought out plans and ideas. Arse and elbow comes to mind without a central and joined up direction…

  • Will,

    Complete over-reaction by the club and its officials. This talk about criminal records is bizarre nonsense. The fans are royally pissed off (putting it mildly), as they are quite entitled to be. Not sure who the driving force is within the IMG, or the Board, but they need to get a sense of perspective and get back in touch with the fans. Ali Baba is about to be history, and I`d suggest the only way forward is alignment across all the groups who care about the club. I understand you may have been worn down during a very difficult season, but if you are on Centreprise`s payroll I guess it goes with the territory. If you aren`t, and are volunteering, then I`d echo Ian`s invitation to take your digital marketing skills somewhere you can be better appreciated. Somehow I don’t think it is going to be at BTFC.

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