Kingstonian FC moving to temporary home next season

Kingstonian FC have confirmed they will leave the borough of Kingston upon Thames for the first time in their 136 year history at the start of next season.

The side have shared a home ground with Corinthian-Casuals at King George’s Field since 2018. They will be moving to ground share with Tooting and Mitcham United at the start of the 2022/23 season, at the club’s home at Imperial Fields in Mitcham.

Kingstonian chairman John Fenwick said that the move was necessary for a number of reasons, including the club’s ambitions. He said: “We were given an indication by the Corinthian-Casuals officials that they did not think that they would be able to provide us with a groundshare for next season.

“Secondly if we were promoted into the National League South, the stadium where we play would need to have a ground graded to play football at that level.

“Tooting and Mitcham United has the necessary ground grading requirements.”

Kingstonian played at Kingsmeadow in New Malden from 1989 to 2017. The ground was sold to A.F.C. Wimbledon in 2003, but Kingstonian remained there until A.F.C. Wimbledon stated intentions to build a new stadium in Merton, and sold the ground to Chelsea FC, who stipulated that Kingstonian had to permanently leave the ground and find a new venue.

The club spent a year at Leatherhead FC’s Fetcham Grove before moving to Corinthian-Casuals’ ground for the 2018/19 season. They have remained there since.

With a move outside the borough the first in the club’s history, fans were understandably disappointed hearing the news of the location of the new temporary groundshare. Imperial Fields is 6.9 miles away from King George’s field, and is further away than most home fans would be used to travelling.

Despite this,m John McCormack, head of the Kingstonian supporters club, said that the fans were slowly warming to the idea.

He said: “The fans were initially frustrated. It’s a move out of the Borough and not the easiest of journeys by public transport. However, the manager and one of the Directors held a question-and-answer session to allay some fears.

“The club are in negotiations to build a stadium on a new, as yet undisclosed, site. The feeling is that it will take a couple of years to secure the land and build the ground.

“This has improved the mood of the supporters. The supporters have not been happy with the Corinthian-Casuals ground, so are happy to be moving away.”

Fenwick said he believed that the proposed new stadium will be well received by supporters. He added: “The directors definitely feel that this will be the new long-term home for the club and that supporters will get used to and grow to love it as their home.

“It is our intention that the potential new stadium will be owned by the club and will be our new permanent home.”

The club will stay at Imperial fields on a season by season basis until a new site is secured.

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