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Last Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Wigan seeks police costs refund
JJB Stadium, Wigan
The charges cover policing during the 2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons
A Premier League football club is demanding the return of nearly 300,000 in charges it paid for policing its home fixtures.

Wigan Athletic claims Greater Manchester Police overcharged it for covering matchdays at the JJB Stadium.

The club's chairman, Dave Whelan has demanded the return of about 293,000 paid during 2003/04 and 2004/05.

Michael Todd, Greater Manchester's Chief Constable, said the charges were reasonable and entirely lawful.

The High Court was told that Wigan used to be charged for special policing services it had requested inside the stadium.

'Taking advantage'

But the court heard that now GMP (Greater Manchester Police) also demanded payment for policing the area surrounding the stadium.

Adam Lewis, representing the club, told the judge: "The GMP appears to say that it can provide and charge for whatever services it wants and at whatever charge. That is wrong."

He said the police were taking advantage of Wigan's circumstances as a Premier League team to charge for special policing at a very much higher level than other clubs in the area.

The GMP charged the club 226,184 in the 2003/04 season and 283,082 for 2004/05, compared to 61,058 in 2002/03.

Wigan claimed that when it originally refused to pay the higher bill, the police threatened to withdraw their services for this season, which would have meant no home matches.

Mr Lewis said: "Wigan had no choice but to pay the balance but did so expressly under protest and without prejudice to its defence in the action."

The GMP said it was entitled in law to charge Wigan for officers who were deployed in the stadium and in the surrounding area, including car parks, roads and open ground.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Dave Whelan talks about GMP's alleged over-charging



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