Featherstone’s Sunday away fixture against Sheffield will have an evening kick-off

Rovers general manager Davide Longo: "We are disappointed with the outcome of our talks with Sheffield."
Rovers general manager Davide Longo: "We are disappointed with the outcome of our talks with Sheffield."
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FEATHERSTONE’s Kingstone Press Championship away fixture against Sheffield Eagles at Wakefield Trinity’s Belle Vue ground will kick off at 7.30pm on Sunday, March 12.

Trinity host Salford Red Devils at Belle Vue in a Super League match the same day (3pm kick-off).

Rovers officials offered Sheffield the chance to stage the game at Big Fellas Stadium, as a ‘home’ tie, meaning the Eagles would receive all gates receipts.

The Eagles appeared willing to stage the fixture at Big Fellas Stadium on the premise that the away game would be reversed for the Rovers-Sheffield game on April 30.

Featherstone declined on the basis of sponsors and corporate hospitality already being in place for the April matchup, in addition to various operational and logistical challenges such a change would result in.

Davide Longo, Featherstone’s general manager, said: “Sheffield contacted us after Wakefield asked them to look for an alternate option, given the impending kick-off clash.

“We tried to help them by offering to host the game here, as an away game for us, which we believe is possible, but it wasn’t something they were keen on doing.

“Geographically, we are extremely close to their current home, in Wakefield, so did not see it as much of an issue. It would certainly have allowed the game to take place at a decent time.

“We asked whether or not there would be an opportunity to provide our season-ticket holders with some form of discount, given the game’s location, but this isn’t something Sheffield were keen on. We were simply looking to help get bums on seats.

“We are not in a position to reverse our April game as, for that fixture, we have already cleared a great deal of commercial revenue via sponsorship and corporate hospitality.

“Furthermore, it would potentially result in a fourth-straight home game for us, in March, which can be logistically challenging, with staffing and the use of our own facilities, as anyone can appriciate.

“We are disappointed with the outcome of our talks with Sheffield and have been left with little choice but to agree to a 7.30pm kick-off – on a Sunday night.

“We imagine this could negatively impact on gate receipts for Sheffield, though we respect the decision they have made.”Fea