David: Why I moved Sharpe for Joyce

Warren Joyce
Warren Joyce

David Sharpe insists his shortlist for the managerial vacancy at Wigan Athletic only ever contained one name following Warren Joyce’s unveiling at the DW Stadium.

The Latics chairman moved swiftly to secure the services of Joyce, getting permission to speak to the highly-rated Manchester United Under-21 boss within 24 hours of sacking Gary Caldwell last Tuesday.

And after a week of discussions and negotiations, Sharpe could not hide his delight at finally landing his man.

“Immediately you look at his recent record of having worked for Manchester United - in my opinion the biggest football club in the world - the amount of time he’s spent there, and that strikes me immediately,” Sharpe revealed.

“You look at what he did previously at Antwerp, and also at Hull City where he started off, and it’s been a great journey for him, to get to where he is at this moment in time.

“Everything just fits in terms of Warren and this football club.

“We’re at a point where we’re competing with some massive football clubs in the Championship - it’s a whole different ball-game compared to what it used to be.

“You’re competing with the likes of Newcastle, Aston Villa, Derby, Sheffield Wednesday - they’re paying money we simply cannot pay, we’re in a different situation.

“Warren loves working with younger players, and that’s what I’m about in terms of the football club.

“We have to be different - younger players, but also winners.

“Historically this football club has always been about that, and we have to get back to that.

“And I think Warren is the perfect man for the role.”

Sharpe admitted the decision to part company with Caldwell was by far the toughest he’s made since taking over as Latics chairman.

But with Latics sitting in the relegation zone a third of the way into the campaign, he says something had to be done.

“When you make a change, you’re not just making a change for the sake of it,” Sharpe acknowledged.

“You have to realise why you’re making the change, and once I’d made that decision about Gary, I spoke to Manchester United immediately and asked for permission to speak to Warren.

“That was on the Wednesday morning, we met, we spent probably four hours talking about nothing but football, and I was fascinated by everything he had to say.

“We didn’t talk about money or anything - that was for a later date.

“Immediately I thought: He’s got a hell of a knowledge, which not many people have in this game.

“I felt straightaway he was the man to take this club forward, for the long-term, and it’s appointment that will make a difference.

“We’re at a point in the history of this football club where we can’t be the big-payers any more, like we used to be.

“The parachute payments are about to come to an end, so we have to have a difference.

“I believe Warren can be that difference.

“Stability is important at any football club, you don’t want to be continually making changes.

“That’s why Warren has got a three-and-a-half-year deal, because we believe in the future, and we’re looking forward to seeing the work he’ll be doing at this football club.”

There has been speculation about how much involvement Sharpe’s predecessor, and club owner, Dave Whelan had in recent events.

But Sharpe insists he was the driving factor behind the change.

“I made the decision, but the board were all of the same opinion,” the 25-year-old admitted.

“As soon as we met Warren, we were all in agreement he was the man to take this football club forward.

“We have to believe in that judgement, I believe in my own judgement, and I believe we’ve made the right decision for this football club.

“It’s a big step for Warren, having worked at Manchester United for so long.

“To leave the biggest football club in the world to work in the Championship must be a difficult decision, but it’s a measure of the man that he is that he wanted the challenge.

“He wants to leave a footprint on this football club, and that’s what I want as well.

“It did take a few days to get it done, because Warren had an Under-23 game at Spurs at the end of last week, and obviously we had a game at Cardiff.

“That wasn’t ideal, but we sat down properly on Sunday, and once that was done we took things forward to where things are now.

“We have the same values as people, on how a football club should go forward, and that’s the most important thing.”

Sharpe also confirmed existing backroom staff Graham Barrow, Peter Atherton and Joe Parkinson - who were in charge for last weekend’s win at Cardiff - will remain at the club for the time being.

“Obviously they’re all good people, they work their hearts out for this football club and they mean a lot for us,” added Sharpe.

“As things stand we want them at the football club.”