Wigan Athletic chairman acknowledges debt to Leam

Chairman Talal Al Hammad has acknowledged Wigan Athletic 'wouldn't be where we are today' without the contribution of Leam Richardson.
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Latics sprung a major surprise on Thursday morning by dispensing with the services of Richardson, just six months after he delivered the League One title - and a fortnight after tying him to a new three-year deal.

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A run of one win and a draw had left Latics second-bottom of the Championship heading into Saturday's massive six-pointer against Blackpool at the DW.

Talal Al Hammad, with Leam RichardsonTalal Al Hammad, with Leam Richardson
Talal Al Hammad, with Leam Richardson
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But the decision has split the Latics fanbase, with the departure of the man who stuck with the club following administration to, in his own words, 'restore some sanity to the situation'.

And Talal himself has admitted it was a difficult decision to make.

"Leam Richardson is a true professional who's shown by example that excellence is something to aim for daily," he tweeted. "I would like to thank him for always supporting our team with his constant positivity and encouragement.

"He inspires everyone around him to be more, and I know that will only continue in his career. We truly appreciate his continuous effort and dedication and we wouldn't be where we are today without him. I am sincerely wishing him the best in his future endeavours.

"I wish Leam good health and success in his next chapter."

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One of Richardson’s assistants, Rob Kelly, has taken over as caretaker manager.

After Saturday, Latics have four weeks off – because of the World Cup break – before they return to action at Millwall on December 10.