A FOOTBALL club conned out of £28,000 by scammers has been overwhelmed with public support.
Laurel Park FC officials took the decision not to launch a crowd funding page, despite only recovering £8.90 of the stolen cash at a meeting on Tuesday, May 2.
The Lower Earley club runs 27 teams for children for children aged between seven and 18 and will be seeking support at their annual Fun Day to help them recover.
Andy Dykes, club secretary, said: “We had a good meeting and a good chat with everyone.
“We’re not going to go under in any short time.
“We will survive and continue to grow.
“We have not had one person make any nasty or bad comment. Everyone has been really supportive over the treasurer.”
The club transferred £7,000 to the scammer on four occasions after receiving a bogus email which looked like it was sent from senior club officials.
Mr Dykes added: “They caught out our treasurer but since then I’ve heard of this happening to judges and lawyers.
“We are a grass roots club that we just built up.
“We were planning on buying some new goals and bits of kit when Laurel Park has finished transferring from the borough to the town council.
“We’ve decided we are not going to set up a crowd funding page.
“We don’t want to take money off supporters and have it just sit in our bank account for several months or a year.
“It would be great if people could come down to the club’s Fun Day in June and support us. That way money will go back into the club.”
The funding was supposed to pay for renovations when Laurel Park had transferred from Wokingham Borough Council to Earley Town Council.
Now the club is calling on banks to change their policy on money transfers to ensure the receiving accounts name matches the payee form.
The club official said: “I want to see it become legislation that the account name you’re sending it to matches up to the name on the account.
“We’re not getting the money back at this moment in time, as far as we’re concerned it is gone.
“We want to make everyone aware so they’re not caught out.”
Local business and other clubs including the Woodley Lions have reached out to Laurel Park with offers of support, including Earley Town Council saying they would help them with financial arrangements over pitch hire.
The club Fun Day will take place on July 1.