Club damage is ‘disheartening’
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