CLAIMS that traders were fleeced led to police being called to EventCity on Sunday.

The trouble flared at the weekend's Fashion & Lifestyle Expo after organisers claimed they would promote it to 20,000 sellout crowd.

The police were called, according to one exhibitor, after the claimed numbers of people through the doors failed to materialise, leaving some traders claiming they were thousands of pounds out of pocket.

One trader told the Messenger: "We were told to expect 20,000 people on Saturday and Sunday but at the most there were no more than 3,000, so there were quite a few angry exhibitors.

"When we approached the organiser we were told they had failed to market it adequately and instead we could have a free stand next year. But when you have lost thousands of pounds the last thing you want it to come back next year."

When that offer was rejected by the traders they were told it would be resolved by the following day.

The trader added "Once again, it got quite heated and in the end they called in the police who blocked the organiser's door. I understand a couple of people were arrested. After this experience though we wont be back next year."

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "Exhibitors had paid money to be there and they felt the event had not been as well supported as they'd hoped.

"They were obviously very disgruntled with this."

EventCity said following the early closure of the event, exhibitors had expressed their upset because they felt they were misled.

EventCity, Andy Orr, Managing Director said: “We can only apologise to exhibitors for the fact they were disappointed with the weekend’s event and that it failed to meet expectations, but we must stress that EventCity is by no means responsible for misleading exhibitors.

"The contract lies between exhibitors and the event organisers, we are solely the venue at which the event is held. Any complaints must be taken up with the organisers directly.

"Again, we’re extremely sorry that the event wasn’t a success as planned, but cannot be held responsible for the actions of the event organisers pre or post event.”