Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday August 23 2008
Latics Chelsea the connections
Wigan Athletic and Chelsea don`t share many connections on the playing front, of former or current Latics players only five have been employed by the West London club and one of these, ex-Latics keeper Bob Ward was the Physio at Stamford Bridge.
Dave Beasant, David Glenn, Mario Melchiot and Emerson Thome are players who have worn both the blue of Wigan and the Blue of Chelsea
Whilst Ian McNeil, who was Latics first ever Football League manager also had a spell as assistant manager at Chelsea but the most intriguing of all connections is that of Ken Bates.
Ken Bates was a director of Wigan Athletic when in 1982 he bought Chelsea football club for the princely sum of £1 but also took on the huge debts that Chelsea had at this time.
Bates turned the fortunes of Chelsea around, along with others, and set up the deal to bring in Roman Abramovich which wiped off Chelseas £80 million debt and set them up as one of the Worlds top clubs
Bates had to give up his directorship of the Latics under football league rules when he took over at Chelsea, but said on leaving that the Latics would always have a special place in his heart and that he would never seem them in trouble.
By the late 1980`s Latics were in serious financial trouble and in danger of going out of business, in 1991 Stephen Gage, Ken Bates` son-in-law, bought an ailing Latics off the much maligned Bill Kenyon and steady the ship.
By 1995 the club had settled so much as to be an attractive proposition for current Chairman Dave Whelan and the rest as they say is history.
So Ken Bates has had a major part to play in both Latics and Chelseas recent history and its fair to say that neither club would be where they are today if it wasn`t for his foresight and guidance
Win Carling Cup Tickets with Vital Wigan
Vital Wigan are offering you the chance to win TWO tickets, 1 adult and 1 under 16 for the Carling Cup 2nd round tie between Wigan Athletic and Notts County to be played at the JJB Tuesday 26th August 7:45 kick-off
To be in with a chance of winning you must be a member of Vital Wigan register here
The competition is simple to enter just follow this link and have a go
Closing date Saturday 23rd August 5 pm
No more than two entries per person will be accepted
Please ensure that you will be able to attend the game before entering the competition
It's easy to join us at Vital Latics to register , simply click the link and enjoy getting involved
Date:Saturday August 23 2008
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