A fundraiser has been launched after £300,000 worth of damage was caused to a Stirlingshire football pitch in a deliberate fire.
East of Scotland league side Dunipace FC said the artificial surface at Westfield Park in Denny suffered extensive damage after being set alight on Friday evening.
The fire was successfully extinguished on Saturday morning, and there were no reports of any injuries.
A police investigation into the incident said the cost to repair the damage is estimated to be around £300,000.
A fundraiser has since been launched in an effort to allow the club to “continue to operate”. You can donate here.
Dunipace FC wrote: “Our 4G pitch at Westfield Park was deliberately set on fire on May 19, leaving the club facing a huge repair bill and costing us a substantial amount of money in lost income.
“In addition to having to move at least two first-team games this week, our amateur side, women’s team and U20s are left without a home pitch for the foreseeable future.
“The damage to our home ground will also have a huge impact on our numerous youth teams with training sessions and matches already having to be cancelled or moved elsewhere. With over 1000 youngsters coming through the gates at Westfield every week the whole community will feel the effects of what happened.
“While we are hopeful our insurance will cover the repairs to the pitch itself, the club will still lose a sizeable sum of money due to fixtures being moved away from Westfield and reducing our income from things like gate receipts, hospitality and pitch booking fees for other games that we were due to host at Westfield.
“For small community clubs like ours, these funds are vital in allowing us to operate as we do and provide a top-class environment for kids and adults to play.
“Donations will be used to cover lost income over the coming months while we work to replace the pitch at Westfield.”
Investigating officers have appealed for any witnesses into the incident to come forward as enquiries continue.
Police inspector Moreland said: “This fire caused a significant amount of damage and will have a substantial impact on the club and surrounding community.
“We are appealing for anyone who witnessed the fire, or anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously to get in touch.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact 101 quoting incident 1088 of May 20, 2023. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.