DAVE Whelan has launched a stinging attack on the “two thirds of football agents” who “couldn’t care less about their players”.
Earlier this week, Latics were powerless to prevent Momo Diame taking up a lucrative offer at West Ham, having seen him turn down a new contract.
The deal would have made Diame one of the top earners at Wigan, but it was blown out of the water by the money on offer from the Hammers, who picked him up on a Bosman free transfer.
Wigan also look set to lose Hugo Rodallega this summer, with the Colombian currently testing the market himself after turning down the chance to stay at the DW.
And Whelan has slammed the role of agents in encouraging their clients to move on rather than stay loyal to their current employers.
“Agents are getting more greedy by the minute,” Whelan told the Evening Post.
“All they want to do is fill their own pockets with money.
“They are not interested in the players’ best interests at all – all they are interested in their own pockets and lining them. And that is a problem that is only growing.
“Whenever a player gets a free transfer, they are basically selling that player. The agents are getting way too much power, they’re starting to dominate the game and we must investigate what’s happening.”
Whelan’s next challenge will be to stop Victor Moses following Diame out of the exit door, with Chelsea believed to be preparing a second bid after having an opening offer of £3million rejected out of hand on Monday.
Latics have already offered a double-your-money new contract to try to keep hold of Moses, but Whelan fears the 21-year-old’s head may have already been turned.
“We took this lad as a teenager, and everything he has he owes to Roberto Martinez and Wigan Athletic,” Whelan added.
“Roberto has coached him and coached him, he’s helped him through games, and he’s played him and not played him at exactly the right time.
“He’s looked after him in every single day in training, making sure he does the right things. But these lads are being told one thing now, time and time again: listen to your agent, not the manager.
“The agents are just coining in money off the backs of these lads.
“Don’t get me wrong, there are some very good agents out there – that is for sure. But there are too few of them now.
“It’s probably only one-third of them who have the game and the player at heart. As far as the other two-thirds are concerned, all they want to do is look after themselves.”
Moses’ agent, Tony Finnigan, has previous with Latics, having taken Nathan Ellington to West Brom on the eve of the 2005-06 campaign.
When contacted by the Evening Post, though, Finnigan was quick to defend his record – and his profession.
“I know how these things work, but I’m not getting involved in a slanging match,” he said.
“All I will say is: How did Vic end up at Wigan, when he could have gone to Manchester City? Who took him to Wigan?
“I’ve got a great relationship with Wigan, going back to Damien Francis, Nathan Ellington and Vic. They’re a great club to deal with.”
However, Whelan believes a move to a top club like Chelsea would be counter-productive to Moses’ development.
“If he gets the move to Chelsea, will he get to play in the first team every week?” the Latics chairman argued.
“That’s what he needs at present – experience and guidance.
“He’s had nothing but that from Roberto over the years, and how the lad can even consider he won’t sign an extension, after what we’ve done for him, just frustrates you. It makes you wonder whether it’s all worth it.”