Sports teams counting the cost of club house damage
For many sports clubs, defeat on the pitch can be a disaster, but sometimes it’s matters off the pitch that hit teams hardest.
The club house is the heart of many an amateur club. Regardless of the sport in question, must clubs will have somewhere to retire to after the match is done.
However, it’s not just sentimental reasons that mean clubs need to consider protecting their facilities, but the costs can be potentially devastating should things go wrong.
Over the summer, the Guardian reported that there has been a huge increase in the number of cricket clubs suffering break-ins.
Some focused on raiding the club house bar for cash, other thieves were more interested in the equipment that keeps the club’s cogs turning.
Armitage Cricket Club in Staffordshire was one of the unlucky teams to be targeted. Club secretary Richard Harris described the losses they suffered:
“We’ve got two sheds. Ones like a shipping container with pretty sturdy padlocks on it. They’d taken a sit-on mower, new this season, which had cost around £2,500, another mower and two strimmers.”
Harris went further, describing how the club had no insurance cover in place to claim back the costs of their stolen property:
“We’re absolutely gutted. Financially we do alright, but it’s a major setback. We’re going to have to spend money that could have been invested in new equipment, like sorting out the nets and spend it on replacing everything ready for next season.”
The level of loss could have been far higher for Armitage. Oldswinford and Stourbridge Social Cricket Club in Worcestershire suffered a break in and theft described as a “professional and clearly planned job”. Thankfully for them though, they were fully insured, with the total claim totalling a whopping £13,000.
A spate of cricket club thefts were reported across the country in the summer months, with the nature of cricket teams regularly being based in rural locations, away from busy town centres, one potential reason they were targeted.
It’s not just cricket sides that can suffer massive losses when it comes to their club house and equipment though.
There have been notable stories of bowls and cricket clubs suffering thousands of pounds worth of damages that were not their fault.
Linden Bowls Club in Grimsby were left without a pavilion when arsonists set it alight in July. The cost to restore the building is expected to easily be thousands of pounds.
Vandals were to blame at another report of a sports club house suffering massive damages this year, this time at Fleet Town Football Club in Hampshire.
The club have stated that over a period of six months they have suffered from vandals breaking doors, windows, pulling out electric wiring and leaving graffiti all over their social club and dressing room.
The financial burden of the damage lead local councilor Adrian Collett to state; “It’s costing the club an enormous amount of money. When you consider they are a voluntary club they don’t have the resources to carry on putting things right when they’re damaged this way.
“If some of the damage cant be repaired because the money has run out, where does that leave the club for the longer term?”
Damage suffered by amateur sports teams to their club house, grounds and equipment can have a major impact on the club’s ability to carry on operating.
Much of the damage reported by sports clubs has been at the hands of third parties. As well as ensuring all equipment and property is locked up securely, there are few preventative measures clubs can take to stop the damage occurring in the first place.
What they can do though, is ensure that they have suitable insurance cover in place if they were on the unlucky end of damage or loss to their club house or equipment.
With claims totalling thousands of pounds should break-ins occur, it is always advised to ensure that should the worst happen, the costs don’t have to be met by the club itself.
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