BURGLARS raided Shoreham Football Club, stealing cash and leaving a trail of damage.
The raiders smashed doors, furnishings and the pool table before stealing £300.
Club chairman Stuart Slaney said: “It’s just upset everybody here –the clubhouse is run by volunteers and the money was mainly donations from their hard work.”
The break-in at the Middle Road clubhouse was discovered last Tuesday, when the manager went to pick up some equipment.
Noticing the door was open and the three front padlocks had been cut off, he instantly rang the police, who said they would arrive within the hour.
Mr Slaney said the police did not turn up, though, so, along with another club member, the manager went in to view the damage.
The thieves had smashed the pool table to get to the coins inside and broke into the boardroom to steal money from the safe.
“It’s all ironic really,” Mr Slaney said.
“The money had been raised by members, donations and sponsors, and it was due to be picked up on Tuesday evening to be put towards a new CCTV system.
“We had even purchased an alarm system to be installed at the weekend.
“We’ve been put back about two or three months now and it’s not easy getting that amount of money in the first place.”
Despite the damage, Mr Slaney says they are lucky more was not taken.
“They left the bar area and the silverware alone and just went for the cash – they seemed to know exactly where it was,” he added.
The club has now been forced to start again with its fundraising to cover the damage and theft, and install security measures.
Mr Slaney added: “We’re appealing for any information about the incident, or any donations to help us raise the money. It’s cost £150 to get new padlocks.
“We used to have the clubhouse open during training sessions so people could use the toilet, but we’re not doing that now.”
Sussex Police said they were called at 1.20pm on Tuesday to reports the club had been broken into overnight.
“The call was graded for officers to attend and did not use emergency lights as there was no threat to life or immediate danger.
“When the officer arrived, there was no-one at the club and the informant was contacted to say they were there. However, the owner declined any further assistance at the scene.”
Contact police on 101 quoting serial 686 of 19/11. To make a donation, contact Stuart Slaney on 07715119028 or email email@example.com.