Tranmere’s FA Cup Second Round opponents Southport have had their preparations ahead of next Monday’s replay hit after the club’s training ground was subject of a suspected arson attack.
Their training base in Skelmersdale was thought to have been targeted on Monday evening with club officials arriving to find the facilities damaged earlier today. While the building at the training ground remained intact, much of the damage was done to the playing surface, according a report in the Liverpool Echo.
Both damage from the fire itself as well as a lot of water – presumably from attempts to extinguish the blaze – left the training pitch in a far from perfect state as the club ramps up preparations for next week’s replay.
Rovers and Southport drew the first game 1-1 at Prenton Park with Monday’s replay set to be screened live on BT Sport.
Since the original tie was played, the replay has now gained even more significance thanks to the opportunity for the winners to host Premiership high-flyers Tottenham Hotspur.
Victory could be worth as much as £250,000 to either club, with the Third-Round tie against Spurs already scheduled for television coverage as well.
Rovers have already sold-out their allocation of tickets for the replay with Southport advising that Tranmere fans found in the home sections will be ejected. Most of the stadium is now thought to be sold out for home fans as well with the only availability now in the Poplar Terrace.