Council chiefs have confirmed Langtree Park DID suffer damage to its roof during Wednesday night’s ferocious storm.
That flatly contradicts an account given by Saints claiming the stadium had been unscathed and raises questions about why the club hid the extent of the storm damage from fans.
Police closed Peasley Cross Road outside the stadium following concerns debris from the roof could cause a risk to passing motorists and pedestrians.
Despite a flurry of highly visible activity at the ground, a club spokesman insisted on Wednesday night there had been no damage to Langtree Park.
Later that evening the club issued a terse statement lambasting “misinformed” comments after council leader Barrie Grunewald tweeted his followers warning them of the closure to Peasley Cross Road.
The following day, they again denied there had been damage to the roof, but admitted there had been damage to a sign outside of the stadium.
But on Friday council chiefs, who sent workers to Langtree Park to assess the damage on Wednesday, revealed their workers uncovered damage to the South Stand of the stadium.
A town hall spokesman said: “Building Control officers were called to the Langtree Park Stadium at 7.30pm on Wednesday night at the request of the club.
“A temporary, precautionary road closure was put in place by the police.
“Minor wind damage to part of the roof was discovered and this is now being attended to by the club.”
Engineers were pictured inspecting the roof of Langtree Park after the stadium was battered in Wednesday night’s storms.
Workers spent time on the South Stand of the ground this morning with a large crane close by.
Police and council structural engineers spent more than two hours at the scene, with officers only leaving once they were satisfied there was no safety risk.
Builders from the stadium’s managers Barr were also present.
A senior official, who was present throughout the incident, told the St Helens Reporter roof panels had become detached after being hit by gale-force winds.
The official added that panels to the stadium’s South Stand were pinned down to prevent a risk of them being blown into the nearby road.
The accounts by both the council and the engineer flatly differ markedly from an official Saints statement, which read: “The club wishes to correct misinformed statements as to storm damage at Langtree Park.
“The only damage was to an outside sign.
“Standard safety checks will now be conducted as a matter of course whilst the stadium remains fully operational.”
However, after the Reporter contacted Saints on Friday with the council’s statement, a club spokesman said: “The damage was to an outside sign. As per the statement safety checks were then taken and minor damage was noticed when we went up onto the roof on the crane. The damage was minor hence the crane has now left and we are focussing all our efforts on continuing our start to the Super League season.”
However, the spokesman declined to comment on why the club had previously denied there had been damage to the roof.
Shortly after Langtree Park opened to the public its roof was damaged in a storm, with panels visibly lifted from the main stadium structure.