CLUB captain Emmerson Boyce has revealed he may have played his last game for Wigan Athletic after nine eventful years at the DW.
The 35-year-old – who led Latics to their greatest-ever triumph, the 2013 FA Cup victory over Manchester City – is out of contract this summer after 298 games.
Boyce had harboured hopes of extending his stay into a 10th year, which would have included a well-deserved testimonial.
But opening his heart to the Observer in an exclusive interview, he says the nature of the offer from the club made it difficult for him to stay on.
“The situation is I think I’ve played my last game for the club,” Boyce revealed.
“There was nothing on the table in the first place. They came back a week later and mentioned a pay-as-you-play deal which, to me, was maybe more for show than anything else.
They’ve obviously got every right to offer me what they want to offer, but the deal was laughableEmmerson Boyce
“Looking at my record for Wigan, how many games I’ve played, and the fact I’ve hardly ever been injured, a pay-as-you-play deal was a bit disappointing.
“I saw the warning signs from January. I knew what was going to happen towards the end of the season.
“I understand how it works in football, but it’s obviously a bit disappointing.
“They’ve obviously got every right to offer me what they want to offer, but the deal was laughable.
“After nine years I would have preferred someone to have sat down and told me they weren’t offering me a deal. That’s the most disappointing thing as far as I’m concerned.”
Latics chairman David Sharpe responded to Boyce’s comments, saying: “Our ambition is to regain our Championship status as quickly as possible and we would like Emmerson to be a part of the team this coming season because we feel he could continue to help us.
“However, the reality of our current situation is that we are in League One and we have to maintain a wage structure in line with our status.”
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH BOYCE, PLUS A LOOKBACK AT HIS INCREDIBLE NINE-YEAR ASSOCIATION WITH WIGAN ATHLETIC, SEE THIS WEEK’S WIGAN OBSERVER