The vandalised dug-out at Seaford Town FC
A FOOTBALL club is reeling after vandals broke into the ground and set fire to the home dug-out.
Seaford Town FC, which is based at the Crouch, has been repeatedly targeted by intruders in recent years.
The club had only just installed an aluminium roof on the dug-out after it was kicked in – when its Perspex sides were torched by vandals wielding an aerosol can last month.
“Everyone’s fed up,” said club treasurer Rod Gentry.
“It’s a not-for-profit club run entirely by volunteers, but it’s spoilt by a few people.”
He said a gang of youths had been meeting on the site to drink and take drugs for a long time but the police had not done enough to help.
He said: “They used to hang around in the grandstand until we put in security shutters.
“But we’ve just moved the problem to the dug-out.
“There’s a lack of police resources.
“They know from the meetings we’ve had with them that residents are concerned, but we are having to take matters into our own hands.”
Mr Gentry said the culprits were repeat offenders who were well known to local traders.
One shopkeeper even claimed to have had an item stolen by one of those alleged to be involved.
The clubhouse was ransacked in April, with a thief stealing a television and spirits from behind the bar.
A local company donated roller shutters to repair some of the damage on that occasion, and the club has been inundated with offers since last month.
Mr Gentry said: “Our chairman works at the Cinque Ports pub in the town and he had somebody pull up in his car one evening, ask for him and give him £20.
“He said ‘That’s for your arson fund’.
“It shows the generosity of the people in the town.”
The 129-year old club is trying to raise £2,000 to install CCTV cameras and security lighting on the main stand.
That will involve laying 120 metres of electrical wiring between the stand and the clubhouse.
Three local businesses have put up £300 each, leaving the club about £300 short of its overall target.
“We’re going to make this happen in the next couple of months,” said Mr Gentry.
Donations have totalled £570, but the Southern Combination Premier outfit need £1,000 to install a new CCTV system, shutters and security grill.
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Police received a report on November 22 of criminal damage to the dugout at Seaford Football Club.”
Anyone with information about the arson should call police on 101 quoting serial 169 of 24/11.
Worthing United’s Robert Albon Memorial ground was also attackeed on Monday night, with four glass windows broken and various electrical goods smashed.
Source: The Argus