Council chief: Why Wigan Athletic is 'so important to the town'

​David Molyneux has double reason to have a huge smile on his face as Wigan Athletic’s nine-month nightmare finally nears a happy ending.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 1:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 1:32 pm
David Molyneux, leader of Wigan Council

As the leader of Wigan Council, he knows first hand what a catastrophic effect the club’s plight had on the town and its residents – and what the results would have been had the worst happened.

But as a Latics fan of more than six decades, he’s also looking forward to being able to support his team under the new Bahrain owners – on the long road back.

“It’s not been an easy journey to where we are now,” said Coun Molyneux, speaking exclusively to Wigan Today. “But hopefully now this is looking good, and I’m confident having met the people involved, they seem very knowledgeable and very much up for it.

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“And it’s very much what the club and the fans deserve, in terms of having an owner who’s passionate about football and passionate about the club.”

With council hat on, it’s a right result for Coun Molynuex.

With fan hat on, it’s even harder to put into words how much this means.

“I’ve supported the club for more than 60 years now, and Wigan Athletic is so important to the town,” he said.

“I know how passionate the fans are, because I’m one myself, and I know how much this club means to people, because it’s very important to me.

"Certainly with what we’ve all gone through over the last year – in addition to what’s happened at the club – it’s been significant how people have been feeling.

“Hopefully in both instances, we can see light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m hoping we can look forward to a very bright future on all fronts.”

Like the rest of the Latics fanbase, Coun Molyneux has found it hard to comprehend the events of the last nine months, which has seen pretty much every single asset sold to keep the club going.

Including three England youth stars – Joe Gelhardt, Jensen Weir and Alfie Devine – who were going to safeguard the future of the club.

“When I look back at the final few games in the Championship, I think we all realised the significance of the position the club was in at the time,” Coun Molynuex added.

“You then see so many players leaving the club – both the established ones and the young lads who were our future – I did fear for us.

“I certainly didn’t want to see us go the same way as Bury, and it was really important to see the club survive.

“That was absolutely paramount in all of the discussions we had with all of the people we spoke to – how important this club is to the town and the people of Wigan.

“The people from Bahrain certainly seem the best of all the parties we’ve met and spoken to, in terms of looking after the club’s future.

“I’m just hoping now first of all we can survive this season in the division we’re in.

“And then the club will have a platform to be able to rebuild and grow again.

"I just think it’s so important to people’s lives and people’s mental health that this club gets back on its feet again.

“That means so much to me, as someone’s who’s passionate about the club and passionate about Wigan.

“And I just think we’re in such a good position now, with the proposed ownership of the club, and I along with everyone else will be doing everything we can to make sure this is a smooth transition.”

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