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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 July, 2005, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Whelan hits back over police row
Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan
Latics chairman Dave Whelan thinks the bill is unfair
Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has told police to let the courts decide if the club should pay a 300,000 bill.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said Wigan's first ever Premiership game versus Chelsea could be cancelled if it does not pay policing costs for games.

But the club has said it does not feel the charges are fair.

Mr Whelan said Wigan were charged 44,000 to police their home match against Leeds while Preston were charged 7,700.

The Latics are due to play champions Chelsea on 13 August.

GMP said it had been legally advised to stop providing a service at the JJB Stadium while police authority debt proceedings against the club were ongoing.

JJB Stadium, Wigan
The JJB Stadium is due to host Chelsea on 13 August

The police force's assistant chief constable Steve Thomas said on Friday the club had until 1 August to settle the debt.

But Mr Whelan said: "The compromise I'm suggesting is go to court and let a judge decide.

"We feel we're right, he thinks he's right.

"There is an investigation going on by the Home Office at present - he's aware of that.

"Why don't they let the Home Office investigate it and come to a conclusion as to what charges should be charged for football games throughout the country, not just Wigan.

"You can't pick on Wigan and say you're going to pay 44,000 when a team eleven miles away [Preston] are only being charged 7,000 or 8,000. Can't be right."

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