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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Let there be light: Barrow Raiders' temporary TV fix

CRAVEN Park will be done up in lights tomorrow night as Premier Sports televise Barrow Raiders’ Championship clash with Batley Bulldogs.

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DELAY David Sharpe

Temporary floodlights will be erected in each corner of the ground ahead of the game, illustrating the need for the permanent system to be overhauled (7.30pm kick-off).

The club are currently in the midst of a push to raise £100,000 to replace the existing lighting at their Hindpool home – which falls far below Rugby Football League requirements.

The cost of hiring the lights for the Bulldogs clash is just £500 – far less than the £27,600 Barrow were billed by Sky Sports for the erection of temporary lighting at games in 2009.

But Barrow will be unable to rely on such measures in future, with the RFL insisting all clubs have lighting in place to a certain standard and threatening Raiders with relegation should they fail to comply by the end of the season.

Club chairman David Sharpe explained the arrangement and said: “There will be four sets of floodlights coming in, one in each corner of the ground.

“They will arrive on Thursday, so we are covered for the game. As it happens, Premier Sports said they probably wouldn’t need them anyway, because they can adjust their cameras.

“I think it’s different to the past, because that was Sky, but we are getting them in anyway so there can be no issues.

“They aren’t going to cost a lot at all. It will be under £500 for all the units, including the diesel to power them, which is massively less than the club were billed for in the past.

“I’ll be interested to see the difference with the temporary lighting myself and it will give us the opportunity to go and take some readings to get an idea of what the difference is.”

The current floodlights at Craven Park are showing their age and fall below the required lux brightness levels written into the regulations for Championship clubs.

A vice-presidents scheme, mega raffle and various other events have already been organised to help raise the required funds for new lighting, with close to £20,000 already in the bank.

It is hoped the raffle – to be drawn in September – will eventually contribute more than £30,000 to the fund, while an Elvis tribute night and a Past and Present Players evening will both take place in March.

Sharpe is hopeful the fundraising efforts will mean tomorrow is the last time the hiring in of temporary lighting is ever needed at Craven Park and added: “It’s the whole idea of the floodlight appeal that we will never have to do this again.

“This is the one game we’ve got at this time of year on TV and once this is out of the way, we are already getting in quotes and getting information together for new floodlights, which we hope to start putting in come the end of the year.”

Tickets for the floodlight appeal raffle will be available tomorrow night from the in-ground souvenir stall and can also be collected from the Rugby Shop, Scott Street.

It is hoped all supporters can buy a book themselves and sell one to their friends.

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