New brushing literally sweeping clean at Wigan Athletic!
Eagle-eyed supporters may have seen the new brush under new owners Phoenix 2021 Limited literally sweeping clean the DW Stadium.
While most of the focus has understandably been on recruitment, and the desperate need to add quality and quantity ahead of the new season, the long-term plan to raise standards across the board has also been kicked-off.
“What fans will see if they’re walking around the stadium over the next few weeks is that being done,” said CEO Mal Brannigan, speaking exclusively to Wigan Today.
“It is having a lick of paint, and it is being cleaned.
“I think some of the areas will be cleaned for perhaps the first time in 10 years.
“And we want to put some pride into the place where so many people will be coming to watch their football.
“It’s also the place where many of us work, and it’s important to have that pride in every aspect of our identity.
“And I think the supporters want to see that, they want to have that personal pride in their club.
“Not everything will be done overnight. But there will be changes at the stadium, the training ground and the Soccerdome that will improve the look of the club.”
Having been thrown in at the deep end following the takeover in March, Brannigan’s ‘to-do’ list is longer than the queue for pies at half-time on a matchday.
And sticking with the stadium, he says securing a new sponsor – which would generate much-needed funds at a difficult time for all clubs – remains a high priority.
“I’m sure we’re not the first ownership group that have looked into the naming rights of the stadium,” acknowledged Brannigan, who is in daily contact with chairman Talal Al Hammad over in Bahrain.
“It’s obviously important we get the right one, and it’s also important we remain respectful to Dave Whelan, and everything him and his family have done for the football club and the town.
“But it’s certainly up there with what we’d like to see achieved – maybe not before the start of the season, but certainly over the next 12 months.
“It’s essential to get the right partnership for something like this.
“There have probably been times in the past where a company has come along and it didn’t quite fit with the club and the values it has.
“So let’s make sure it’s the right one, because that name will be up there for a long time – and you have got to get it right.”
Brannigan also revealed moves have also been made with regards putting on concerts at the stadium – which has been mooted several times in the past without success.
But he says that will also be more of a long-term strategy.
“We’ve started reaching out to promoters, but you’re already talking about 2022 and even 2023 because of how far in advance they work,” he said.
“We’re determined to utilise the stadium better than it has been – but that’s easier said than done.”