DAVID Sharpe closed a rip-roaring Wigan Athletic fans forum last night with a swashbuckling statement: “I want to smash League One”.
The Latics chairman faced the supporters along with boss Gary Caldwell to mark the start of pre-season training, in preparation for a campaign that starts six weeks today at Coventry.
And he left no-one in any doubt as to the extent of his ambition for the season.
“I don’t just want to win this league,” he admitted. “I want to smash it and get 100 points.”
Sharpe, a lifelong Latics fan, also promised to splash the cash to recruit a proven striker that will fire the goals to win promotion back to the Championship.
“I guarantee we will have a goalscorer who scores us 20 goals next season,” he pledged.
“I was brought up on (Nathan) Ellington and (Jason) Roberts scoring every week. And I’m prepared to pay good money for that.
“We’ll have a very good budget - five times more than anyone else in League One.
“We have bids in for three strikers, and they’re not cheap.”
Sharpe appeared to suggest plans for the proposed new training ground at Charnock Richard may have to be put on hold to fund the promotion push.
He also confirmed the departure of club legend Alex Cribley, who has served Latics in the role of player, coach, physio and caretaker manager over a 30-year period.
“Alex has left,” he added. “We can’t go into too much detail, but he’s one of us, we’ve offered him a good package and we’ll look after him.”
Sharpe, who only took over from his grandad, Dave Whelan, four months ago, also gave an insight into life as a football chairman at the age of just 24.
“I’m a single lad, I go home and all I think about is Wigan Athletic,” he revealed.
“I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights after last season, but we’re all determined to make amends.”