Portsmouth League One rivals Plymouth suffer 'mindless destruction' to Home Park pitch from stolen tractor - casting doubt on Swansea and Bristol City friendlies

Plymouth Argyle are battling to ensure pre-season friendly plans go ahead after trespassers stole a tractor and wrecked their pitch.

Monday, 6th June 2022, 6:00 pm

Pompey’s League One rivals are scheduled to host Swansea (July 12) and Bristol City (July 16).

However, the fixtures are now under threat following Saturday evening’s ‘mindless destruction’ to their Home Park playing surface.

Police are investigating after culprits broke through the ground’s perimeter fencing before taking a tractor from a storage garage.

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According to a Pilgrims spokesman, the tractor’s ignition was started with tools before driven across a pitch under renovation ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

The spokesman told Plymouth Live: ‘There is no guarantee that the damage from the incident can be repaired instantly.

‘This work comes at additional cost to the club, and places our grounds team under further pressure, with an already tight turnaround for scheduled pre-season matches.

‘The club will also be upscaling security at the stadium to ensure that this does not happen again. Of course, this adds further expense, deviating vital funds away from enhancing the stadium, squad, and match-day experience at Argyle.

Plymouth Argyle's pitch had been undergoing post-season work before a stolen tractor caused 'mindless destruction'. Picture: Plymouth Argyle FC/SWNS

‘It should go without saying, but any true supporter of Argyle would not engage in such mindless destruction.’

Police have collected fingerprints and gathered information, including CCTV footage.

Pompey will discover when they are next scheduled to travel to Home Park when the 2022-23 fixtures are released on Thursday, June 23.