Wigan Athletic today won a landmark case as the Court of Appeal in London upheld the club’s complaint that Greater Manchester Police overcharged it for covering home match days.
The appeal judges ruled 2-1 in favour of the Latics with High Court Chancellor Sir Andrew Morritt holding that the special policing services at issue were not ‘requested’ by the club within the meaning of the 1996 Police Act and the police were therefore not entitled to recover the cost.
Lady Justice Smith agreed, but Lord Justice Maurice Kay said he would have dismissed the club’s appeal against the High Court decision.
With the Latics winning the battle they are due to receive around £37,000 back in overpayment and this could spell good news for Hereford United who themselves are currently challenging charges that they have been set by West Mercia Police.
The solicitor representing the Latics seems to think that the decision today could have far reaching implications, Andrew Roberts, litigation partner at DLA Piper`s Liverpool office, said:
“This is a landmark case, not only for football clubs, but for the policing of other sporting and commercial events.
“It offers important guidance on where the line can be drawn between what constitutes chargeable special police services and ordinary policing.
“In this decision the Court of Appeal made it clear that the decisive point is what has actually been requested by the club. It held that Wigan Athletic should not have to pay for police services that it did not ask to be provided.’
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