A DELIBERATE fire which scorched a football club’s pitch caused £300,000 worth of damage, police have said.

A large patch of the artificial pitch was burned at Westfield Park in Denny, home of Dunipace FC.

Police are appealing for information after emergency services were called to the blaze on Saturday morning.

The East of Scotland first division side say they face a huge repair bill and have set up a crowdfunder to help cover the costs. So far it has raised more than £10,000.

In a statement posted on social media, the club thanked its supporters.

It said: “Yesterday was one of the toughest days we’ve faced as a club after the widely reported fire at Westfield that caused massive damage to the pitch.

“While we know there’s a long road ahead before we get things back to the way they were, the support we’ve received from the local community, Scottish football, and the wider football family has been nothing short of overwhelming.

“The club has received messages from around the world and it has been difficult to comprehend just how far-reaching this has become; while the people of Denny and Dunipace have rallied around the club in a way that makes you proud to be from the town.”

Other clubs have offered their facilities to Dunipace FC.

Police Scotland are treating the fire as wilful and said £300,000 of damage was caused.

A spokesperson said: “This fire caused a significant amount of damage and will have a substantial impact on the club and surrounding community.

“We are appealing for anyone who witnessed the fire, or anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously to get in touch.”