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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 18:15 GMT
Wigan face prospect of lock-out
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan
We will play behind closed doors if necessary
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan
Wigan Athletic could be forced to play their games behind closed doors unless they resolve a row with Greater Manchester Police.

Club chairman Dave Whelan believes the cost of policing the JJB Stadium on match days is unfair.

"Two years ago a new superintendent trebled the cost of policing at thestadium," said Whelan.

"We feel this is unrealistic and unfair for Wigan and he's threatened to close the ground which we'll not allow."

Whelan feels that Wigan are being singled out and believes the row could affect the Latics' bid to get to the Premiership, with the side currently occupying second spot in the Championship.

"For example when we played Nottingham Forest in front of a crowd of 12,000 they charged 19,878. For Burnley against Forest the cost was 2,179, while for Preston against Forest the fee was 2,584.

"He (the superintendent) said that those clubs are not in the same area, so we asked about Bolton who are in the same area.

"When Bolton played Liverpool in front of a crowd of 27,880 the cost forpolicing was 9,000 and for Bolton against Aston Villa the cost was 10,000 for a crowd of 26,000.

"All we want is a fair deal - to receive the same treatment as Preston and Burnley.

"If it is not resolved we will play behind closed doors if necessary."



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