PREMIER League hitman Charlie Austin hit back at West Berkshire Council’s decision evict Newbury FC from Faraday Road.

Southampton FC star Austin, who learned his trade while growing up in West Berkshire, questioned the timing of the council’s ruling.

The Faraday Road sports pitch lies within an area earmarked for a major regeneration to deliver new homes.

Council chiefs confirmed the pitch will be available for community use but Newbury FC would have to move elsewhere.

And ex-Reading FC trainee Austin, 28, fumed: “It’s a disappointment. It’s another local club faced with getting closed down.

“Why couldn’t they just leave Newbury there and let them play their football so everyone is happy?

“As a local place, everyone has their joys at the moment, look at Thatcham Town after they won the vase, that was fantastic.

“But now we’re just destroying another local team. That’s the trouble with local football now.

“I just think the long and short of it is that it’s not good enough.

“You have to have grassroots football. That’s where everyone started, there is no getting away from that. Newbury was where I played my stuff for a couple of years.

“They have made a wrong decision by turfing them out before a final decision on the building work has been made.

“(They should) let them play there and then when it’s finalised that they’re going to build on it then ask Newbury FC to move on.

“It’s too soon and it’s left a sour taste in people’s mouths.”

The council was originally planning on evicting Newbury FC from Faraday Road in 2016, but it granted them a two-year stay by extending the lease until this year.

Newbury Community Football Group sparked a campaign to allow Newbury FC to remain at the site and a survey revealed 91 per cent of the town felt there were inadequate football facilities in the area.

Now Newbury FC have vacated the site, residents will be able to turn up at Faraday Road and use the pitch for activities, following a speedy refurbishment.

Newbury FC voiced their frustration on social media over the weekend, posting on Twitter: “It’s done. West Berkshire Council has officially evicted us and changed the locks.

“This day will only kick us on to come back stronger.

“The support from local people will not be forgotten. Now time to build for next season and get the town talking for the right reasons.

“There have been some players sit and have a drink in here after a game. (It’s) devastating to see this. West Berkshire Council hang your heads in shame.”

Newbury FC could now take up a ground share with Frilsham and Yattendon FC.

Meanwhile, Councillor James Fredrickson, defended the authority’s decision.

He added: “Whilst we would have liked to allow the football club to stay at the pitch, we now need the site to be available for redevelopment to commence. We couldn’t then provide the full year lease that the club requested.

"The site will now close briefly as we make it ready to be opened to the public as a multi-use games area. I’m pleased that we have found a way to keep the site open to the community until we are ready to begin the redevelopment.

“This will mean many more groups will be able to enjoy the facility.”