A disgruntled fan has committed the "silliest" crime in non-league football, a club chairman claims.
The pitch at Blyth Spartans AFC in Northumberland has had its penalty and centre spots dug out, leaving gaping holes in the turf.
Tony Platten, club chairman, said the bizarre crime at Croft Park stadium at Plessey Road was either a prank or the work of someone who must have a grudge against the club.
He said: “We’ve had people’s ashes dispersed on the pitch and people get married and have their blessings on the pitch, but never anything as silly as this.
“We have had a couple of break-ins and minor pilfering but nothing as illogical as taking the centre circle. This is just the sort of crazy thing that happens in non-league football.”
Mr Platten said the club’s groundsman discovered the holes on Sunday morning when he went to inspect the pitch after the club’s first home defeat since October to Buxton Spartans.
The turf with white markings has been dug out and carried off the site. A club supporter’s scarf was also found tied around the club gates.
“I doubt we will find out who did it. They might be in someone’s garden by now with flowers planted in the middle,” said Mr Platten.
The team’s game against AFC Fylde this Saturday will still go ahead.
Blyth Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Harris said: “We are checking CCTV from nearby properties and would appeal for anyone with any information about the offence to come forward and speak to us.
“We believe the vandals have got on to the roof to get inside the ground and they may have had ladders and shovels with them.
“If anyone saw anything suspicious over the weekend, I’d ask them to get in touch.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police on 101 ext 69191 and quote reference 010531T/14.