A FOOTBALL club is urging people using their ground for a kickabout during lockdown to stay away as they risk ruining preparations for next season.

Brighouse Town Football Club has outlined how its volunteers have found people trespassing on the private land and playing football as well as drinking and anti-social behaviour.

Those spotted have also not always been adhering to the two meter social-distancing rules.

Club officials add that their volunteers are trying to make the ground look “as good as it can be” and part of this involves needing to “give the grass enough time to nurture in preparation for the new season”.

Anyone using the ground for their own purposes means it could slow down the start of the club’s pre season ready for when the sport reopens.

Stadium manager Darren Laycock told the Telegraph & Argus that since the lockdown had eased they had noticed an increase in groups of children and young adults scaling the fence to access the grounds.

"They have been climbing in the fence or pulling panels off to get in to the grounds. Some are playing football and others are drinking in the dugouts in an evening.

"We've had to start padlocking the goal posts up, so they can't use them, but now they are being damaged as the groups try to pull them apart.

"They are also damaging the repairs that we've done to the grass.

"There was such a large group last weekend that people thought we'd started training again. But it's not us."

In addition, following issues again over the weekend, more than 50 bottles were found in the ground yesterday.

The club informed the police and warned that anyone found in the ground who doesn’t represent Brighouse Town will be reported.

A statement shared on the club’s Facebook page stated: “Our land is a private land and should not be intruded by anyone not related to Brighouse Town Football Club.

“The current lockdown measures enforces people to be 2 metres apart in which groups of people who have been at our ground have not been following.


“Anyone caught inside the Yorkshire Payments Stadium and on its land will be asked to leave on the first offence. Any further offences by the same individual/s will be taken further.

“We are doing this as we need to give the grass enough time to nurture in preparation for the new season and by people using it for their own purpose, it has not been allowed to do this and could slow down the start of the club’s pre season.”

Along with other sports clubs, Brighouse Town has been affected financially due to the cancellation of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In April the non-league club launched a crowdfunding effort to try and raise £10,000 to see them through the shut down due to coronavirus. So far they have raised around £4,600.

The club said that match day income and sponsorship accounted for most of its revenue and that the current situation was a threat to their existence.

Visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/brighousetownafc.