29 hours ago
Panther fans angry at Telstra
Penrith fans have reacted angrily to the decision to move the club's round four clash with the Sydney Roosters to Telstra Stadium.
The grand final replay was switched to the venue after fears that the amount of people wanting to watch the game would not fit into Penrith Football Stadium, which seats around 22,000 people.
The club broke the ground record at Penrith Stadium three times last season and had to reduce the capacity for their home final against Brisbane to keep the crowd both comfortable and safe.
But the decision to move the round four clash to Telstra has angered fans, who will only see the Panthers play at Penrith Stadium once during the first month of the premiership.
Penrith's official website has been flooded with complaints since the decision was made.
Panthers marketing manager Max Cowan has told fans the decision is not primarily based on financial advantages that would come from a bigger crowd.
"The rewards are far bigger than just the financial rewards," Mr Cowan told fans on the website. "We can have rewards that come from both on and off the field of play. They are not mutually exclusive. In fact our goal for the club is exactly that - the best in the world both on and off the field."
With the defending premiers facing a tough opening three weeks, it is possible they will head into the match with the Roosters having lost three consecutive matches.
"Unfortunately (we) don't have a crystal ball to tell us how many wins we'll have after 3 rounds ... but we still need to make decisions," Mr Cowan said. "My belief is always that we will be undefeated at the end of the year - I hold that belief until we lose."
Either way, the Panthers won't go back on their decision.
However, some have suggested it would have been a better option to move the round one clash with Newcastle to Telstra Stadium, as it would possibly attract a stronger crowd, given it is Penrith's first match in Australia since the Grand Final. It'd also attract a strong following from general league fans as the season opener.
But the Panthers say that's not an option.