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Barrow Raiders director blasts RFL over fixture ‘nightmare’

BARROW Raiders director Keith Nutter has attacked the RFL fixtures committee after his team were handed a pair of fixtures certain to cause problems in 2013.

The club had asked not to have a home game on Easter Monday – as Barrow AFC face Hyde at Holker Street that same afternoon – and not to have a home TV match during the winter months due to problems with their floodlights.

However, when the fixtures were released on Monday, both requests had been roundly ignored – they host York on Easter Monday and Batley in front of the cameras on February 21 – with Raiders poised to suffer financially as a result.

Club fficials were known to be fuming behind closed doors at the perceived slight from the RFL and in his column in today’s Evening Mail, Nutter has put voice to their issues.

He writes: “Despite having informed the powers that be some time ago that Barrow AFC have a home fixture on Easter Monday, we were paired at home to York on the very same day.

“If we are forced to both play on the same day at the same time, it will be a logistical nightmare.

“Economically, it will obviously have an adverse effect on the attendances at both Craven Park and Holker Street and will be particularly disappointing for the many people who support both teams.”

Nutter adds: “Much more worrying in my view, is the fact our home match on Thursday, February 21, against Batley Bulldogs is to be televised by Premier Sports.

“If we are forced to play the match against Batley on the Thursday night, we will have to hire in additional lights at a cost of circa £13,000.

“It is really nice to know some people are trying to help us in our hour of need – NOT!”

An RFL spokesman said in response: “The RFL worked closely with Barrow and all member clubs when compiling the 2013 fixture list, a long and complex process which took into account hundreds of factors, including the wishes of the 22 other Championships clubs and our broadcast partners.

“More than one Championship club due to be at home on Easter Monday asked the RFL to be given an away fixture that day. It was only possible to accommodate one of these requests and priority was given to a club which shares a stadium with another sporting team who were also at home that day.

“Mr Nutter’s concerns surrounding the televised fixture on Thursday, February 21, are surprising.

“As a condition of their membership of the Championship in 2013, Barrow agreed to implement a plan to upgrade their floodlights and agreed to install temporary floodlights in the event of any of their fixtures being selected for broadcast in 2013.

“Our understanding is that it will cost Barrow significantly less than £13,000 to provide illumination of the levels required by Premier Sports.”

l Read Keith Nutter’s column on Page 37

Have your say

Why not use Holker St for the Batley game the floodlights work and I'm sure the football club won't charge £13.000

Posted by Greg Rose on 5 December 2012 at 01:46

I agree with Keith, this is a disgrace hopefully Keith Holt will sort things out. You dont get any of this nonsense in my sport of choice - kabaddi - I think it's a great sport, and was glad to hear of Lee Haney's recent participation in the North West Amateuer Kabaddi Major.

Up the Raiders!

Posted by Abu Hamed on 29 November 2012 at 11:23

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