New chairman: 'Why NOT Wigan Athletic?'
'Why Wigan Athletic? Why NOT Wigan Athletic!'
That's the message from new chairman Talal Al Hammad, whose 'Phoenix 2021 Limited' group are the new owners of Latics.
And after nine months of administration, the club is able to dream of a bright and prosperous future, under owners who say they are in it for the long haul.
"Personally, I feel excited and happy to start this new challenge," Al Hammad said.
"People always ask why we acquired this club, but everyone forgets this club has been playing in the Premier League for eight years in the last 20 years, against the teams that dominated Europe at the time.
"Wigan Athletic has a premium infrastructure, such as an outstanding stadium and an outstanding academy, in addition to the fanbase of the club, which did not abandon the club in the most difficult circumstances.
"So, the real question here is, ‘Why not Wigan Athletic?’"
Al Hammad has already become something of a legend on social media by engaging with a fanbase he is keen to meet at some point in the not-too-distant future.
"When I read messages from the supporters, I automatically feel happy and optimistic about the club's future," he acknowledged.
"I thank all the fans who stood by the club, especially in the last nine months.
"Wigan Athletic fans are no different from a family standing together through thick and thin.
"I am grateful for all the lovely messages I have received and all the tweets I was mentioned in...and YES, my Twitter account is real!"
He also revealed his eyes were opened to the potential of the club after following the progress of several former Latics stars from neighbouring regions.
"The first time I heard about Wigan Athletic, it was when Amr Zaki was performing fabulously during the period in which he represented the club," he revealed.
"Also, Wigan Athletic is well known in our Arab region due to the presence of popular players such as Ali Al Habsi, Mido, Zaki and Sam Morsy.
"We want to build a strong and stable team and an integrated club.
"We do not want this club to ever go through such circumstances in the future.
"We will do everything in our power to ensure the continuity of the club and to build it in a way where it relies on its own resources to continue so it does not need to be in such a position in the future.
"Our plan is to take back the club to its best position and to please the club’s supporters."
And as to a final message to the Latics supporters?
"To all the Wigan fans out there, we want optimism, patience and support from your end as we are one big family," he added.
"And by this, you will be a major part of the club’s success.
"From today onwards, a new era will begin. Thank you, Up The Tics!"
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