Burghfield Football Club have hit out after recieving a further price hike from Burghfield Parish Council fearing any cost increase for pitch hire could push them out of their home site.

The cost of pitch hire at Burghfield Recreation Ground (The Rec), for both the 9-a-side and 11-a-side pitches, is to increase for the second time in 12 months from April 1, according to the club.

The side the aditional price increase will mean an increased cost per game of 92 per cent since this time last year for the 9-a-side hire. This figure is at 80 per cent for the adult sides on an 11-a-side pitch.

The historic club, which has provided football for numerous age groups for over 60 years, could be forced to increase membership fees or move away from their long-term home of the Rec.

Releasing a large statement on their website this week, the club question whether the Parish Council has an agenda against the football team.

A statement the Parish Council firmly refutes and has reaffirmed its support for the continuation of football on the Common Recreation Ground.

"Worryingly, these extortionate pitch hire increases appear to demonstrate an agenda from BPC to force the removal of Burghfield Football Club from the Rec," it read. "We have already had to overcome several complications and stumbling blocks put in place on numerous occasions to allow us continued use of the venue over recent months and years."

Further in the statement, the club called on the council to reassess their position. It said: "We would strongly urge BPC to reassess these excessive pitch hire increases, as unfortunately without positive discussion we find ourselves in a position that regrettably may mean the football club will lose the presence of both youth and senior teams in the heart of the village.

"This would be a highly disappointing move, with the Rec having been home to a sports club within the village for over 60 years, and the current sports pavillion built in 2004 using grant funding from the Football Foundation to facilitate its construction using the Burghfield Football Club name."

It added: "The scale, timing and unjustified reasoning into increased costs has left us no option but to make this public and fully explain the potential loss of both youth and senior football from Burghfield Recreation Ground from the 2023/24 season."

Burghfield Parish Council have since issued a response 'to clarify its position' regarding the cost increase and refuted claims that it does not support the continuation of football at the Rec.

It said: "In 2015, an increase was applied resulting in pitch fees changing from a flat rate of £40 per game to £50 per adult game and the introduction of £25 for a Kids game.

"This price remained static for the following seven years until 2022 where following discussions with Burghfield Football Club, an increase was applied resulting in a pitch fee of £75 per adult game and £40 per kids game. (This equates to a c.5 per cent year-on-year increase).

"Whilst we appreciate the cost of living has affected everyone, the parish council has a statutory duty to all parishioners to manage both public assets and public money responsibly and in a sustainable manner. Burghfield Parish Council continue to cover the majority of costs incurred in providing football pitches of a good standard, alongside clean changing rooms, to enable football to continue at the Common Recreation Ground.

"Burghfield Parish Council fully support Burghfield Football Club and the continuation of football on the Common Recreation Ground and are disappointed that BFC club decided not to make contact with the parish council before releasing their statement."