League Express editor Martyn Sadler has set out a means of compensating Widnes Vikings for the losses the club suffered last week after the hasty rearrangement of their fixture against Wigan Warriors last Friday night.
The game should have been played at the DW Stadium, but Wigan postponed the match more than 24 hours before it was due to take place, apparently without informing the RFL or the Vikings.
Writing in his ‘Talking Rugby League‘ column in League Express, Sadler has suggested that the Vikings should be entitled to all the income from their own ticket sales for the game against Wigan that is now scheduled for 2nd July.
In the original fixture list, the Vikings should have been hosting Wigan at the Select Security Stadium on that day and they might have expected an attendance of close to 10,000, as opposed to the figure of 6,561 they drew to last Friday’s hastily arranged game, with many fans paying as little as £10 for admission.
Normally the away club would be entitled to 25 per cent of the income from ticket sales it makes for an away match, so that a club, for example, selling 1,000 tickets at £20 each would be entitled to £5,000.
The RFL is currently investigating the postponement and may decide to take action against Wigan, if it finds that the club infringed the operational rules in relation to postponements.
Sadler has suggested what the RFL’s action should be, if it does find that Wigan deserve a sanction.
“My suggestion is that Widnes should be entitled to 100 per cent of the income from tickets they sell for the match on 2nd July, with an added premium value of £5 per ticket,” writes Sadler.
“That would have the advantage of giving Vikings supporters a massive incentive to attend that game, and the more who attend, the bigger the punishment would be, while at least partially filling the stadium.”
“And one final thought on this farce. At half-time of Wigan Athletic’s game against Nottingham Forest on Saturday the DW Stadium groundsman decided to water a pitch that has supposedly been in danger of being waterlogged less than 48 hours earlier, as you will see from the photo on this page.
“That is surely very odd!”
Martyn Sadler‘s ‘Talking Rugby League‘ column is in this week’s issue of League Express, which is currently in the shops and is online at pocketmags.com.