Stadium to get extra cladding to protect fans from weather

Saints fans pack out Langtree Park for the first derby against old enemy Wigan Warriors
Saints fans pack out Langtree Park for the first derby against old enemy Wigan Warriors

SAINTS may have thought they’d left their stadium woes behind them when they moved out of crumbling Knowsley Road more than two years ago – but it appears they’ve still got grounds for concern.

Club bosses confirmed this week that discussions are taking place with the Langtree Park developer, main contractor and structural engineers to assess whether fans sitting on the three open sides of the stadium need more protection from the elements.

Some fans - in both the seated and standing areas of the ground - complained that the lack of cladding on three sides of the ground, and on the public concourse, left them exposed to rain and swirling winds.

The £25m, 18,000-capacity ground, which took years to finally become a reality, had already been beset with issues before Saints’ first Super League game there in February.

In January, gale force winds ripped up a triangular section of sheeting on the stadium’s roof, causing the club shop to temporarily close - before a ball had been kicked in anger.

Then, this summer, Saints chiefs revealed that they were considering taking legal action against former project advisor Complete Construction Management (CCM) in relation to “cost estimates and other related advice”.

Saints have refused to say whether the club still intend to pursue legal action against the company.

A club spokesman said: “We are committed to doing all that is practical, and in as speedy a time frame as is possible to ensure that necessary additions and improvements are made.

“It is a complex and demanding area from a structural engineering viewpoint, given the design of the stadium, and the correct long-term option needs to be decided and adopted only after the most detailed consideration.

“It is imperative that the right option is adopted given the potential costs involved and it is also critical that any additions do not detract from the unique design of Langtree Park.”

Saints bosses now expect to receive a detailed report into a number of different cladding options before Christmas and plan to make a further announcement early in the New Year.

They say they have already put extra cash aside and pledged to invest in further cladding, despite this sending the overall cost of the stadium spiralling upwards.