Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has moved to protect the JJB pitch ahead of Sunday's title decider with Manchester United.

The Times says Whelan was so concerned about the potential for embarrassment caused by the state of the pitch at the JJB Stadium this weekend that he ordered Wigan Warriors rugby league team to move their cup match against Whitehaven from Friday to Monday.

Wigan have not lost at home since the turn of the year and while the pitch is far from perfect, it is a significant improvement on the bog it was at the turn of the year and is not a potential excuse for United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, although his team have had hard times on suspect pitches in the past.