Jackson: How we refreshed the club

Wigan Athletic players celebrate winning promotion to the Sky Bet Championship
Wigan Athletic players celebrate winning promotion to the Sky Bet Championship

Jonathan Jackson has lifted the lid on the process of ‘refreshing’ Wigan Athletic, which allowed the club to come ‘a long way back’ from this time 12 months ago.

Last summer Latics were staring at the abyss, having been relegated from the Championship and with most of their first-team squad moving on.

But the new-look Latics – under boss Gary Caldwell, chairman David Sharpe and CEO Jackson – quickly got back on track, and were rewarded with the League One title after a superb season.

“That’s football, and it can change so quickly,” Jackson told the Evening Post.

“We knew last season (2014/15) we’d gone from a Europa League campaign, an FA Cup semi-final and a play-off campaign to despair.

“I remember sitting on the bus coming home from Brentford, where we’d been beaten heavily on the last day of last season, and it looked a long way back. We knew we were going to lose a number of players, and we had a manager who was new into the job.

“The whole club was down, but the fans stayed positive, and we created this ‘new era’ for the football club.

“It was all about refreshing the club, and turning it around, and once we started to do that, and get the positivity back, the fans started to enjoy the games again.”

Latics took a few weeks to get going with their new-look team both on and off the pitch. But once they hit their stride they never looked back, with the fans treated to one of the most enjoyable campaigns in recent memory.

“We started to win games again, and score goals, and it became really enjoyable again,” Jackson said.

“People were looking forward to going to games again, whereas last year it was difficult because we were losing games. And it’s all about the results on the field.

“We can do what we can off the field, and commercially and in the media and in the community.”