Kingstonian fans have stepped up their campaign to keep the club playing at Kingsmeadow by launching an online petition.

AFC Wimbledon is reportedly close to signing a deal to sell off the stadium in Norbiton to Premier League outfit Chelsea to be used by their women’s team.

Fans have now set up a petition calling on Kingston Council to uphold a 1989 covenant on the ground which states it should be used for the senior football team in Kingston – Kingstonian – who have played the stadium for 25 years.

Kingstonian fan Jamie Cutteridge has started an online petition to keep the club in the borough.

He said: "I guess the problem at the moment is that we just don’t know. We are in a state of limbo.

"Kingsmeadow’s our home, AFC Wimbledon may have bought it years ago but it’s a historic part of our club.

"Chelsea has no interest in football in Kingston, they want to use the ground for the women’s team which is fine, but if that’s the only football in Kingston then we think that’s kind of sad."

Kingsmeadow ground in Jack Goodchild Way, Kingston Road

Kingsmeadow has been owned by the Dons who have shared the ground since it was bought from Kingstonian FC owner Rajesh Khosla in 2003 for a reported £2.4m.

But Wimbledon AFC are now planning a return to their home borough and have submitted a planning application for a new 20,000-seat stadium in Plough Lane that includes 601 new homes.

They have been in discussions with Chelsea over Kingsmeadow since early this year.

Chelsea declined to comment amid reports the takeover could officially be announced as early as the end of the month.

A spokesman said any further news would be announced directly on the club’s website.

But Kingston and Surbiton MP James Berry said: "Whether it is at Kingsmeadow or elsewhere, we have to keep Kingstonian in the borough. They are a local institution."

Clockwise: MP James Berry, Kingstonian celebrate scoring and Kingston's Guildhall building

The online petition set up states: “We the undersigned call on Kingston Council to ensure that the sale of the freehold of Kingsmeadow stadium ensure that both the covenant on the land is upheld and the future of Kingstonian is protected.

“Kingstonian are Kingston's historical football team and to lose their presence in the borough would lose an important part of the town's cultural heritage: two signed Kingstonian shirts currently sit proudly on display in the Guildhall. There has been limited consultation with Kingstonian fans about any sale and move away from Kingsmeadow.”

Kingstonian fan and councillor Jon Tolley said: “How will we survive if we don’t even have a ground? That’s the real problem.

“If the council decided that they want to help Kingston then that’s cool – there have been a few conversations about how Kingstonian can continue to exist.

“But there’s only so much they [the council] can do, there is a lot of willingness to make something happen, but it is a case of whether there is even any land.

“If there is not any land to build a new ground on then there is very little they can do.”

Council leader Kevin Davis is set to meet Kingstonian representatives in the next few weeks.

The petition needs 500 signatures to be discussed at full council.

Visit epetition.kingston.public-i.tv/epetition_core/view/Kingstonian