A Wiltshire football club has been left with an ice rink instead of a pitch after the water that flooded their ground froze overnight.

Malmesbury Victoria FC have been dealing with 24 inches of floodwater since heavy rain swept the town on Thursday, January 12.

The latest setback will have a significant impact on the club’s ability to host games in the near future and will add to the financial cost of recent weather-related disruptions.

Club secretary, Brendon Rice, estimates the ice will delay the time taken to start work on the pitch by around a week. He fears that the pitch may not be playable again until late February or early March.

He said: “The thing with the freezing is it stops the drainage process. Every day that the pitch is frozen or thawing probably adds an extra two days to the time we have to wait to get machinery on the pitch. This freeze will probably add another week”.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

Mr Rice says the sudden cold snap, combined with the flooding, has been demoralising for the club’s team of volunteers.

He added: “Everyone at the club works on a voluntary basis so it is soul destroying when you put in all this hard work and then the weather comes along and does this. We just want to see the lads play but they can’t get out there”.

When the flooding initially hit, the club took to Twitter to say: “Very tough times at the club. A shame to see the summer of hard work put in by our grounds team under water.”

The club have been working with the league in order to play as many away games as possible during the next few months. Several games will have to be postponed leading to a backlog of fixtures in March and April.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

Mr Rice also confirmed that the situation is affecting the club financially.

“The cost of hiring different facilities and the loss of income has had a significant impact,” he said.

The club have set up a fundraising page to help them with the cost of the machinery and heating needed to dry out both the pitch and the clubhouse, which also flooded.

So far, they have raised over £700 and have set a target of £5000.

The disruption has also been minimised by the generosity of Cirencester Town FC, who have allowed the Vics to play some home games at their ground, the Corinium Stadium.