RFL tried to fine Wigan £50,000, reveals Lenagan

Oliver Gildart scored a late winner at Widnes in February
Oliver Gildart scored a late winner at Widnes in February

Ian Lenagan has revealed the RFL attempted to fine Wigan £50,000 for controversially switching February’s fixture with Widnes.

Writing in his programme notes, the Warriors chairman said they appealed the decision and, instead, they were ordered to pay £2,000 costs.

Warriors called off the game, without consulting Widnes, as the pitch had deteriorated following Storm Doris and needed time to recover so that Wigan Athletic could play football on it.

But the match then went ahead on the scheduled date at the Vikings’ ground - Oliver Gildart’s late try secured a 28-26 win.

Lenagan wrote: “It is a tribute to both clubs and their fans that we were together able to rescue the fixture in February, play the game in front of an excellent crowd and continue positive working relationship with Widnes in such trying circumstances.

“It is a pity that the same compliment cannot be made to the RFL who attempted to levy a further £50,000 fine and public censure on Wigan, rejected by the Independent Appeals Tribunal. In a similar show of cooperation by Wigan Athletic, this game can take place today after much work by the DW Stadium grounds staff. Their efforts to make the new pitch playable early in time for this game are much appreciated.”

The Rugby Football League said it would set up a working party so the stadium sharing clubs - Wigan, Hull FC, Salford Red Devils and Leeds Rhinos - can discuss the issues in relation to sharing a ground.