BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 21 December 2007, 11:48 GMT
Wigan loses police costs battle
JJB Stadium, Wigan
Police charged for officers inside and outside the JJB
Premier League club Wigan Athletic has lost its High Court battle in a row over a 300,000 policing bill.

The club had claimed Greater Manchester Police (GMP) overcharged it for covering match days at the JJB Stadium.

The row broke out following an increase in charges for policing games in the 2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons.

Mr Justice Mann said GMP was entitled to some of the money but it was "vital" for the two sides to agree on policing costs before each season.

But he did not rule on what the cost of the final bill should have been.

He had been told at a hearing in October that Wigan used to be charged for special policing services it requested inside the stadium.

But now the police also demand payment for the area surrounding the stadium.

Wigan had no choice but to pay the balance
Adam Lewis, for Wigan Athletic
Michael Todd, Greater Manchester's Chief Constable, had said the charges were "reasonable and entirely lawful".

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

The club was charged for nearly three times the number of police on duty than there were at matches before it was promoted to the Premier League.

The club originally refused to pay the higher bill, but the police threatened to withdraw their services for this season, which would have meant no home matches.

'No choice'

Adam Lewis, representing the club, 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."

He said Wigan's case was that GMP could only charge for officers on duty within the stadium, inside the turnstiles, where only ticket holders could go.

But 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.

The judge said such a case should not be referred to the courts again.

He said: "It is vital that the club and police get together before each season and reach an agreement as to how policing is to be paid for."

He said each side must be flexible and there would have to be "give and take".

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Police defend match costs at Wigan Athletic



SEE ALSO
Wigan seeks police costs refund
08 Oct 07 |  Manchester
Wigan given summons over billing
20 Jul 05 |  Manchester
Whelan hits back over police row
02 Jul 05 |  Manchester
Wigan strike policing compromise
08 Mar 05 |  Wigan Athletic
Wigan face prospect of lock-out
12 Jan 05 |  Wigan Athletic

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific