Club dam­age is ‘dis­heart­en­ing’

West Sussex County Times - - Front Page - Sarah Page

Of­fi­cials at Rof­fey Foot­ball Club have hit out at ‘mind­less van­dals’ who have left dam­age and bro­ken glass at the ground.

Of­fi­cials at a Hor­sham foot­ball club have hit out at ‘mind­less van­dals’ who have tar­geted the club’s ground sev­eral times over the past few months.

Pitches at Rof­fey FC’s ground in Bartholome­w Way have been dam­aged by bar­be­cue fires and left strewn with bot­tles and smashed glass.

Dam­age has also been caused to build­ings and dugouts on the se­cluded site and on one oc­ca­sion a tent was pitched there.

Club chair­man Andy Chantrill said: “It’s very dis­heart­en­ing.”

He be­lieves that young­sters - bored dur­ing lock­down - are re­spon­si­ble.

“We think a lot of it is coro­n­avirus linked,” he said. “We had about seven or eight sep­a­rate in­stances of dis­pos­able bar­be­cues burn­ing holes on the pitches.”

The club has re­cently had a new drainage sys­tem in­stalled on both of its pitches which has since been dam­aged.

“Plas­tic pipes have been mind­lessly ripped up,” said Andy.

“We have lit­er­ally just spent £3,500 on our pitches. It’s money that we can’t af­ford in the first place, let alone hav­ing to keep spend­ing on re­pairs.”

He said in one of the most re­cent in­ci­dents last week­end, two new bar­be­cue ‘burns’ were left on the turf.

He said the club had many vol­un­teers who gave up their time to help main­tain the grounds “but ev­ery time we have a re­pair, some­thing else hap­pens. It’s just mind­less.”

He said they worked hard on main­tain­ing the pitches ‘like bowl­ing greens com­pared with pub­lic parks.’

He said Rof­fey - whose home has been at Bartholome­w Way for the past 25 years - was the only team in Hor­sham that didn’t have a locked ground.

“We just want peo­ple to re­spect the site and not have fires and to clean up af­ter their dogs.”

The club has re­ported the van­dal­ism to po­lice who have now set up reg­u­lar pa­trols in the area.

Foot­ball club chair­man Andy Chantrill and pic­tures show­ing rub­bish and dam­age to the pitch and fenc­ing

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