Latics' chief executive Mal Brannigan predicts an action-packed League One season

League One will provide the ‘most movement, most action and most competition’ in English football this season.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 2:45 pm
Mal Brannigan

So says Wigan Athletic chief executive Mal Brannigan, who believes the third tier is where it’s at because of a number of off-field factors.

“I think we were all surprised by the impact Covid has had upon the transfer market – and especially in our division – this summer,” he said.

“Certainly it was the most active division of the four in English football. Maybe the top two divisions were held back because of the Euros, which made it look like League One was the most active.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The fact there were so many players from the Premier League and the Championship playing out there, whose clubs didn’t know until late whether they’d be staying or going, had a knock-on effect in which players might be made available for loan.

“You could see in the last few days of the window, there were quite a few deals being done that took a lot of people by surprise.”

Sunderland boss Lee Johnson spoke earlier this summer about the third tier taking over from the Championship as being the league with most ambition being shown.

“I think Lee was spot on with his comments, and I think we have an incredible division this year,” echoed Brannigan.

“It’s probably going to be the division where you’ll see most movement, and most action, within football. And I would also say it will probably be the most competitive division as a result.”

Latics have made a flying start to their first full season under Phoenix 2021 Ltd.

Brannigan, though, is not getting carried away.

“There’s an awful long way to go, he said. “But we have a real positivity about us, and where we are at the moment, which gives us reassurance.

“At the same time, what we won’t do is suffer complacency. Because the moment you start to take your focus off what those end goals are, you quickly move away from where you’re currently going.

“We know where we want to be at the end of the season, and that would be a really good place. But we’ve also spoken about being a stable club, one that is progressive, and which is continuously improving.”