Widnes postpone Sunday's clash with Sheffield as crisis deepens

Widnes's Championship fixture with Sheffield Eagles on Sunday has been postponed
Widnes's Championship fixture with Sheffield Eagles on Sunday has been postponed

The crisis at Widnes has taken a new turn with an announcement that Sunday's Championship fixture with Sheffield Eagles has been postponed.


The financially-crippled Vikings, who were relegated from Super League at the end of last season, had pinned their survival hopes on securing fresh investment but announced on Tuesday the collapse of a takeover bid.

They said then they were unable to pay the players' wages as the threat of administration loomed and on Thursday called off the game at the Halton Stadium.

A statement said: "Widnes Vikings can confirm that Sunday's fixture against Sheffield Eagles has been officially postponed.

"Whilst discussions are ongoing with regards to ensuring the club's survival, it was felt appropriate to postpone this weekend's Betfred Championship fixture against Sheffield Eagles, which has been done in conjunction with the Sheffield club.

"Widnes Vikings are grateful for the support of Sheffield on this matter.

"Widnes Vikings will be making no further comment at this stage and will update supporters as soon as the club can confirm further details."

It appears the players have received fresh assurances that they will be paid next week but a problem over insurance is thought to have prompted the decision to postpone the club's round four fixture.

Widnes are one of the original 22 clubs that broke away from the Rugby Football Union in 1985 to form the Northern Union, which went on to become the Rugby Football League.

The club were dubbed the "Cup Kings" after reaching Wembley seven times in 10 years from 1975 to 1984 and in 1989 were crowned world club champions after beating Canberra Raiders 30-18 at Old Trafford.

Widnes went into administration in 2007 after failing to win back their place in Super League following relegation 12 months earlier.

They were restored to the top flight in 2012 as part of a franchise system but were victims of the Super 8s Qualifiers in 2018 when they won just one of their seven fixtures and were relegated once more.