The real price of attacks on clubs is an emotional one

at first glance, our front page story on the woes of a small football club and the page 14 story about fraud at a golf club seem completely unrelated.

Thursday, 18th August 2016, 6:00 am

But, in fact, at the heart of both tales is a callous disregard for community organisations which make a huge difference to people’s lives.

The appalling vandalism which has left Paulsgrove Football Club on the brink of closure, and the £90,000 plundering of Waterlooville Golf Club’s bank accounts were by faceless criminals who targeted vulnerable organisations.

For more than 50 years Paulsgrove FC has been a proving ground for football-mad youngsters from the estate and it given them something to focus on.

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But thanks to relentless vandalism it’s now at breaking point, and could mean that Paulsgrove’s young boys and girls are denied the opportunity of proving themselves in future.

And for what? Mindless wrecking sprees of a much-loved hub.

Waterlooville Golf Club is now suffering because it had not downloaded a piece of anti-virus software to their computer system.

It took just seconds for hackers to send a loaded email and rinse their accounts of almost £100,000. The club’s chances of recovering the cash are almost zero as NatWest says it should have had the software in place.

Again, faceless criminals who may never be brought to justice.

The financial loss is so great at Paulsgrove FC that it may be forced to close.

The golf club is faring a bit better but it’s still a huge loss.

But the real impact here is emotional – to the dedicated volunteers, players and parents who support Paulsgrove FC, and the long-standing members at the golf club.

And that’s a huge price to pay.