An Essex football club has been affected by a “heartbreaking” action after being broken into on Friday afternoon.
Harlow Town, who play in the eighth tier of English football, suffered severe damage to their club facilities.
Thieves used a vehicle to damage the club’s exterior before stealing the club’s pitch maintenance equipment.
The outbreak of coronavirus has brought an abrupt end to football across the country.
The non-league club were 14th in their league when the FA announced they would expunge results for the 2019-20 season.
In a statement released online, a club spokesperson said: “At a time when non-league football clubs up and down the country are having their finances and very existence tested to an unprecedented level, it’s heartbreaking that these individuals can take it upon themselves to inflict even more difficulties.
“The coronavirus outbreak has seen our football season cut short, and with the necessary social distancing measures that have been introduced and revenue streams harder and harder to come by, further expense and repair work is the last thing that was needed for anyone right now.”
Essex Police revealed on Twitter that they had found the car involved in the incident.
Team out this morning, enquiries made into a burglary at #Harlow Town FC. Didn’t take us long to find the vehicle used, thanks to vital information from community.
— Harlow Community Policing Team (@HarlowCpt) April 4, 2020
Harlow Town has urged anyone who has information about the incident to contact Essex Police.
It comes as the latest stint of crime to affect Essex football clubs.
Billericay Town were forced to suspend a number of their home matches in the National League South after vandals damaged their pitch.
In 2017 thieves targetted fellow Essex non-league team Aveley.
On May 31, a defibrillator, electronic scoreboard and more than 40 footballs were stolen from the Millers.
Thousands of pounds of damage was also inflicted upon the club’s facilities.
They had to have work done on the changing rooms, storage rooms, workshop, shower, toilets, and stands.
Aveley have since moved from their previous Mill-Field home to Parkside.