Police are appealing for witnesses following a fire at premises at Thatto Health amateur rugby league club.
Police were contacted on Saturday, January 4 to reports of a fire at a training barn at Thatto Heath Crusaders Club on Close Street.
Damage was caused to an external wooden cladded wall. No-one was in the building at the time and there have been no reports of any injuries.
It is believed that the fire started between 4.35pm and 4.50pm. Four males, two of who are believed to have been on mountain bikes, were seen in the area at the time.
The fire is being treated as suspected malicious ignition and an investigation is underway.
The barn is used by the whole club, community groups and many other sports teams from all ages.
The club has set up a GoFundMe page which has already passed the £3,000 mark.
The page has been set up be Ste Webester who stated: "Extensive damage has been suffered to the core of the structure as well as the 4G playing service (which alone costs ~£60k) and the roof.
"Whilst we are insured and are working hard to recover from the situation there will be lots of other costs that the club will have to bear.
"Not least we now have to find alternative training facilities for all of our own teams and have lost what was a vital stream of income from external groups who paid to rent the barn.
"The support and offers of help we have received so far from the wider community and Rugby League family has been overwhelming.
"We have setup this page to try and help us cover some of these costs. Any donation you can make however small will be appreciated.
"If anyone would like to offer other services or items please comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org."
CCTV and forensic enquiries are in the process of being carried out and detectives are appealing for anyone who was in the vicinity of Close Street who saw anyone or anything suspicious to contact us either by DM @MerPolCC, calling 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting log 651 of 4th January.