Vital Football

Latest Wigan Atletic News

No Cure in Sight for Premier League Hangover

No Cure in Sight for Premier League Hangover




All the symptoms are there: the headache of balancing the books, the nausea of unfit players stealing a living and the exhaustion of monitoring comings and goings in the transfer window. If the definition of a good party is the hangover suffered afterwards, then Wigan Athletic's eight years in the Premier League are even better in hindsight.

With transfer deadline day here, Latics fans are feeling a great deal of uncertainty as to the future make-up of their team. Just a couple of weeks ago manager Uwe Rösler rather surprisingly showed a negative aspect to his character by complaining about Wigan's difficulty in recruiting players. Since then, the Adam Forshaw transfer has been resurrected only for it to stall again. On Saturday, Dave Whelan announced the imminent transfer of Andy Delort, a striker prolific in Ligue 2 in France. Many fans were left unconvinced that it really will happen until the necessary papers are with the Football League on Monday but confidence in the season will improve should both players be wearing Latics stripes in two weeks time.

However, on the debit side is what will happen to the Blue and Whites' two current star performers, James McArthur and Callum McManaman. Supporters fear that they will both be sold and that one or two others such as Ivan Ramis or fans' darling Ali Al-Habsi may be moved on to lighten the club's wage bill of two Premier League salaries. Should Tics fans laugh or cry?

While some on social media are critical of the club for a lack of ambition in selling its better players and in not completing deals sooner, others are more realistic. They point to the perfect storm of events in 2013-2014 which has led the club to the situation in which it finds itself now.

When Theo Walcott and colleagues finished putting Wigan to the sword three days after their FA Cup triumph, a huge sinkhole of injuries, departures, valuable players, a butchered budget and qualification for the Europa League opened up beneath them. The club already had senior players such as Gary Caldwell and Al-Habsi carrying long-term injuries which they were to carry through to the next season. McManaman was stretchered off in that Arsenal match and would miss pre-season. Unbeknown to most people, Shaun Maloney was having problems with his hips and would be absent for nearly all of the following season. A huge number of players all came to the ends of their contracts together and twelve players from the first team squad were either released, declined offers or were sold before the end of August.

Owen Coyle spoke positively of the challenge awaiting him when he was appointed but at the back of his mind he must have known of the difficulties involved in recruiting almost an entirely new team to replace those who had left, cover for those who were injured and provide strength in depth for the marathon season awaiting his team. Whatever anyone's opinion of his managerial skills, this was a most difficult task. Ask Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes and many other leading managers on the dangers of recruiting so many new players in a short time and they'll tell you that it just isn't possible to do it without making mistakes and landing a club with a millstone around their wage bill. And of course, that is exactly what happened: some new recruits were left wanting, others did not fit into Rösler's plans when he took the reins and others refused to pull their considerable weight.

One club this year not facing this unfortunate combination of factors is Norwich City. Just six players in and six out in this transfer window make for a much more manageable situation. The club is also debt free, is run well and, while their income has also been slashed, healthy attendances reduce the pressure on the club to sell to balance the books.

Wigan Athletic's status does not look as favourable in comparison. The club's income from the Premier League is now £24m down on two years ago with many players still on near-Premier League wages. Added to the equation are the players recruited by Coyle from the Premier League to make a quick return there who are now unwanted and are taking up king-sized space on the wage bill. No wonder Uwe sounded so downbeat.

Dave Whelan is a supporter of FFP and of keeping football clubs solvent. Maintaining the club's solvency in the face of mega-transfer deals involving other clubs bent on ignoring FFP can only mean that WAFC will continue to find it hard to compete in the transfer market if promotion is not achieved. Players may have to leave to reduce the wage bill or provide funds to strengthen the team in other areas. Acquisitions may fail due to a reluctance to overstretch the club's finances. Unfortunately and unavoidably, Wigan fans may have to acknowledge that the finances may not be there to re-build quickly from that perfect storm of 2013. If the Latics do manage to win promotion back to the Premier League this season, then Uwe Rösler's achievement in doing so will be all the more admirable. And who knows, he may be a little more cheerful in next summer's transfer window.

Pete Reece

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Pete Reece
Date:Monday September 1 2014
Time: 6:00AM

Comments

0
Hopefully this season will provide the hangover cure
worbo
01/09/2014 00:41:00
0
If we can produce performances like we did on Saturday and do so a regular basis then come next May Wigan Athletic should be a very happy Football Club. Fingers crossed.
bensourhero
01/09/2014 09:18:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Wigan Athletic Articles

How Much Have Wigan Earned Since 1992?

With the £100million television ceiling being broken this season and handed to one club, where do Wigan Athletic fall in all time Premier League payments table?

Wigan Athletic Transfer Rumours And Gossip - 30/05/16

The latest names doing the rounds

Latics Officially Announce Warnock Deal

The Latics have officially announced that Stephen Warnock will become a Wigan Athletic player on the 1st July when his current contract expires at Championship rivals Derby County

Who Will Wigan Athletic Face In 2016/17 (30/5/16)

All promotions and relegations for the season of 2015/16 have been confirmed, so the full make up of the Championship for 2016/17 is now known.

Archived Vital Latics Articles

Vital Latics articles from

Site Journalists

Barry Worthington
Editor email
Profile
Dan Farrimond (JWAW)
no email
Profile
Adam Convery
no email
Profile
Frank Ford
no email
Profile
Noel Wards Leg
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Man Of The Match v Barnsley
Suggested By: Gary Caldwell
Lee Nicholls15%
Donervon Daniels2%
Craig Morgan1%
Jason Pearce1%
Stephen Warnock2%
David Perkins5%
Max Power1%
Chris McCann1%
Yanic Wildschut46%
Michael Jacobs1%
Will Grigg21%
Reece Wabara2%
Ryan Colclough2%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Wigan 46 24 15 7 87 37
P Burton 46 25 10 11 85 20
3 Walsall 46 24 12 10 84 22
4 Millwall 46 24 9 13 81 24
5 Bradford 46 23 11 12 80 15
6 Barnsley 46 22 8 16 74 16
7 Scunthorpe 46 21 11 14 74 13
8 Coventry 46 19 12 15 69 18
9 Gillingham 46 19 12 15 69 15
10 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 7
11 Sheff Utd 46 18 12 16 66 5
12 Port Vale 46 18 11 17 65 -2
13 Peterborough 46 19 6 21 63 9
14 Bury 46 16 12 18 60 -17
15 Southend 46 16 11 19 59 -6
16 Swindon 46 16 11 19 59 -7
17 Oldham 46 12 18 16 54 -14
18 Chesterfield 46 15 8 23 53 -12
19 Fleetwood 46 12 15 19 51 -4
20 Shrewsbury 46 13 11 22 50 -21
R Doncaster 46 11 13 22 46 -16
R Blackpool 46 12 10 24 46 -23
R Colchester 46 9 13 24 40 -42
R Crewe 46 7 13 26 34 -37
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Wigan Athletic Results (view all)

Wigan Athletic Fixtures (view all)