The Bouttencourt football club’s refreshment bar is the victim of an arson attack

By

Alan Sénicourt

Published on

May 24, 2024 at 11:43 a.m.

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Wednesday May 23, 2024the president of the Bouttencourt football club (Somme), Richard Leroy, is called in the morning. The refreshment room is black with soot and everything inside has melted. He was the victim of a fire during the night. Traces of crowbars around the doors, a hole in the roof and an empty bottle of rubbing alcohol suggest that this fire was of voluntary origin. In any case, the president is sure of it. Dejected by this news, he was initially overcome by incomprehension. “There is a television, a coffee machine worth thousands of euros, but the culprits only left with sodas and €40 in cash,” he describes. “What hurts me and annoys me is that it’s breaking for the sake of breaking, a completely gratuitous act… I understand, even if it’s bad, the act of stealing, but breaking…”

The television was not even stolen by the vandals. ©Alan Sénicourt

We built this building ourselves, with around ten friends…

Richard Leroy President

This news is even more difficult to receive when talking with the president in place since 46 years. “I gave a big part of my life to this club, I’ve never seen that… It’s very difficult. »

Beyond the financial loss estimated by the president between €20,000 and €40,000, it’s a sentimental disappointment. “We built this building ourselves, with around ten friends,” he remembers.

The president estimates the loss caused by this fire at between €20,000 and €40,000. ©Alan Sénicourt

It is a municipal building, so the town hall’s insurance will manage the file. A complaint was filed with the Friville-Escarbotin gendarmerie (Somme) and an investigation is being carried out. “For the moment, we must not touch anything,” says the president, distraught, who is already thinking about the future. “We’re hosting a youth tournament this weekend, I don’t know how I’m going to do it…”

In addition to the material damage, this fire represents a loss of income for the club, because a refreshment bar is a financial engine for a sports association. ” It is €600 per weekend,” confides Richard Leroy.

Bouttencourt fire football club (1)
Richard Leroy distraught at the gratuitous nastiness of this act. ©Alan Sénicourt

Support from neighboring clubs

In this complicated period, the president, however, received the support of neighboring clubs. “It warms my heart,” he says. The club has decided to open an online fundraiser so that those who wish can support the club financially. More than €600 has already been raised.

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