A RIBBLE Valley football club has banned youngsters from playing on their pitch after a spate of vandalism.

Bosses at Sabden Football club have ‘regrettably’ decided to enforce the zero-tolerance policy following the club’s changing rooms and toilets being broken into recently.

The club has written to neighbouring houses and have asked them to report any incidents to them.

Club officials then intend to disperse any youngsters from the ground.

Sabden Football Club currently lease the site in Pendleside Close from Ribble Valley Borough Council and have recently received a £1,500 grant from the council to upgrade their changing rooms.

It is hoped that the club will be able to open up the facility to junior groups, women’s teams and the local schools and youth group after the project has been completed.

Manager Simon Fielding said: “It’s very frustrating and soul destroying.

“Windows have been smashed and they have forced entry to the changing rooms and the outside toilet.

“Tiles have been taken from the roof and it just seems that they would rather cause us damage than do anything else.

“It has been going on for a while and it needs to stop.

“It’s hoped that after a while of me turning up and shouting at them that they will just stop.

“This is far from being a vigilante and it’s more about protecting the club for the future.”

A police spokesman said: “We would encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious in the area to contact the police on 101.”

Coun Richard Newmark, who represents Sabden on the borough council, said: “It’s a problem that a few have caused for the majority.

“It only takes a small amount of trouble and a couple of people to spoil it for everyone.

“It’s not fair for them to have forced the club to take on this policy.”