Widnes fund-raisers fighting to save club

Widnes entered administration on Friday
Widnes entered administration on Friday
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Widnes say fund-raising efforts to save the beleaguered Vikings have realised more than £21,000 in 24 hours.


The Championship club entered administration on Friday following the collapse of a planned takeover and were immediately warned they could go into liquidation within a week unless new investment is found.

Vikings Quid's In (VIQI), an independent organisation that has supported Widnes for almost 20 years, stepped forward to help coordinate fundraising efforts and has so far persuaded 375 individuals to sign up.

Phil Finney, the Vikings' performance director said: "We have been overwhelmed by the response from supporters and rugby league fans around the world, who have donated and signed up to become VIQI members.

"Behind the scenes, staff, volunteers and players have been working tirelessly to help save the club. We're not giving up and thank everyone who is showing their support."

Organisers say they have their own bank account and all donations will be securely ring-fenced and not be put at risk by the club's current administration challenges.

They say the money donated will be used to help take the club out of administration, if possible, or to support the continuation of professional rugby league in the town.

Jason Shaw, founder of VIQI, said: "Whilst all of us are hurting by the current crisis, the only thing that matters now is action.

"A united effort from our supporters and backers of the club can help save our historic team."

Widnes, who were one of the 22 founding members of the Northern Union which went on to become the Rugby Football League, were world club champions in 1989 but relegated from Super League at the end of the 2018 season.

Sunday's league game against Sheffield Eagles was postponed because of insurance issues but the players are expected to continue training under coach Kieron Purtill.