REPEATED break-ins and vandalism at a football club are ‘threatening’ its ongoing development, officials say.
The warning follows more damage to the main stand at Chorley FC’s Victory Park at the weekend when intruders started a small fire close to a corporate hospitality area, smashed dozens of new roof tiles in an attempt to break into the directors’ lounge and ripped out seats from the stand.
The damage is estimated at around £3,000 and follows an incident on March 13 when thieves smashed through the roof of the boardroom, causing around £10,000 of damage. Two televisions and a stereo were also taken.
Chorley FC, managed by ex-Blackburn captain Garry Flitcroft assisted by former striker Matt Jansen, enjoyed their most successful season in a generation this year winning the EvoStik Premier League with attendances averaging 949 — almost four times the figure just five years ago.
Club director Glen Hutchinson labelled the intruders as ‘thugs and idiots’.
He said: “The club is constantly investing in improving the ground yet these acts of destruction leave us having to divert funds for no good reason, setting us back.
“The roof tiles and coving which have been smashed had only recently been built after the March break-in.
“There’s also been a small fire lit at the back of the stand close to the corporate box. I just don’t know what’s going through these people’s minds.
“The club is on an upward curve in every way. Champions on the field and playing Conference football for the first time in 25 years next season.
“Off the field the club has taken enormous strides and we should be concentrating on these great developments not repairing this mindless damage.”
The club is now considering installing razor wire on possible access points close to the adjacent Rangletts Park to deter intruders.
Anyone with information about the break-ins is asked to call the police on 101.