Billericay Town have vowed to not let the disappointment of their pitch being vandalised hinder their progress of building a community club.
The National League South’s Blues were broken into in the early hours of Saturday morning ahead of their fixture with Weymouth.
Two vehicles were driven around the New Lodge playing surface, causing significant damage to the pitch which had already taken a battering from the wet weather.
As a result, they were forced to postpone the fixture but Ricay attempted to lift spirits by keeping the club open for supporters to watch the Rugby World Cup Final and the day’s live football.
Manager Jamie O’Hara hosted an opening training session at a local school for fans to attend and mix with the players afterwards. Essex Police say the incident has been reported and they are looking into it.
Come down today I’ll be taking a training session at 1:30 at Billericay school that all fans are welcome to come and watch and mingle. Will also be back down to the stadium @BTFC #staystrong https://t.co/on9Fc4lqR2
— Jamie Ohara (@Mrjamieohara1) November 2, 2019
In a statement, the club said: “The incident has been reported to the police and CCTV footage has been obtained. The pitch damage will be swiftly rectified. The BTFC family is bigger than incidents of this nature.”
The new owners of Billericay Town have had some good news for fans of the Essex club this weekend after publicly backing player-manager Jamie O’Hara to take charge of the club going forward.
A consortium of four local businessmen and supporters took over last week after Glenn Tamplin elected to step down.
New chairman David McCartney, Greg Lake, Nick Hutt and Alex Morrissey are now in charge at New Lodge with the initial aim of making the National League South club sustainable.
Top-earning striker Matt Rhead was one of the big names to leave following Tamplin’s departure along with centre-backs Craig Robson, Gavin Gunnning and Danny Waldren.
More players are expected to leave in the coming weeks but boss O’Hara, the former Tottenham and Wolves midfielder, has the backing to continue the job after stepping up from assistant manager following Harry Wheeler’s sacking.
In an interview for The Non-League Paper on Sunday, Lake says: “It’s going to be a reduced wage bill but some of the players really do love playing for Billericay and are willing to live within that budget,” said Lake, who is also taking on the club’s commercial and media responsibilities.
“Certainly we have no plans to change Jamie, we’re very happy and he’s a very hard working manager, very much on board with what we’re trying to do.”
“Glenn pumped money in and we owe him because he raised the profile of the club, good or bad. He also invested in the infrastructure and raised the team up the leagues.
“We inherit in a good position from that perspective but it does need stabilising. We do need to live within a budget from the first team perspective.”
Image courtesy of @TalkBillericay/Twitter