A group of Travellers have denied taking to the Gayfield turf to play football after pitching up next to the stadium in Arbroath.
Three caravans are parked up right next to Arbroath FC’s football stadium and sharp-eyed neighbours spotted people playing on the pitch in recent days.
But the Travellers who are currently there insist it was nothing to do with them.
Arbroath chairman John Christison told the Tele: “The Travellers next to the stadium are becoming a fairly recurring problem now. There have been three or four caravans outside the stadium for a couple of weeks.
“There have been people on the park a couple of times playing football but we have very attentive neighbours who let us know what’s going on. In the past toilets have been used when nobody is around, but now there are padlocks on everything.
“Nobody at the club, and especially our groundsman, is happy about people being on the pitch.
“When the Travellers were approached they said they thought it was a public park. If so, then why is there a 10ft fence all around it?
“It’s in the council’s hands now, all we can do is report it and it’s up to the council.”
Anne McDonagh is one of the Travellers at the site and insists that the people on the pitch were not part of their group.
She said: “We have the ladder up for our TV aerial and the police came along to say that somebody had used the ladder to go into the stadium. I didn’t even know it had happened and we’re here getting the blame.
“It wasn’t my kids the oldest is seven and there’s no other kids here. There’s no way I’d allow my kids to go up there.”
Arbroath East councillor Donald Morrison says it should be a matter for the police if anybody is found to be breaking into the stadium.
He said: “I hope the police take action, if it is the case they’ve been on the pitch. We all have to abide by the law no matter our lifestyle.
“The council will discuss with the Traveller people themselves and if they are leaving we obviously want them to leave the place as they found it.”