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Wigan goes to court over police refund- 10 Oct 2007 07:10:00

Premier League club Wigan Athletic has gone to court to demand a refund of close to £300,000 against the Greater Manchester Police over the fee the club paid for policing of its home fixtures.

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan claims Greater Manchester Police overcharged it for covering matchdays at the JJB Stadium and 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 hearing saw Wigan state that it had been charged for special policing services it had requested inside the stadium.

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.’

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.

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.

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