Wigan Athletic chief 'spurned Premier League offers'

Leam Richardson could easily be working on Premier League duty this weekend, rather than preparing Wigan Athletic for Sunday’s League One trip to Oxford.
Leam RichardsonLeam Richardson
Leam Richardson

But the acting manager has no regrets whatsoever about staying loyal to the cause to, in his words, ‘bring some sanity to the situation’.

Not that he doesn’t have ambitions to one day make the step up.

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But still only 41, Paul Cook's long-time No.2 says his most pressing concern remains with Latics - and helping them to survive the drop to League Two against all odds.

“I have had job offers to go coaching at Premier League level, and different roles at Championship level, and a couple of roles elsewhere,” Richardson revealed. “But I’m in no rush to make that pathway.

“Everybody knows I’ve worked with and been successful with Paul, who himself has turned down jobs that haven’t really married with his expectations and career path.

“It’s one of those where you just watch this space. In this business, you’re always very aware that, at any given moment, somebody could just come in and sweep the carpet from under you.”

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Richardson stepped up into the hotseat when Cook jumped ship at the end of last season, shortly after Latics were placed into administration by the previous owners.

He soon moved back to No.2 after being instrumental in bringing John Sheridan in as an experienced head.

But when Sheridan moved on after only two months, Richardson took control of the wheel back – and is steering the ship admirably through choppy waters towards a calm sea.

But does Richardson, with months of experience in the top job behind him, have any advice for the assistant who stepped up last summer?

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“Yes...you should have accepted those jobs you were offered before!” he laughed.

“But there was a situation here where it’s full throttle and, until that changes, I’ll keep going.

"The advice would be to be as honest and as humble as you can, and try and handle everything with as much humility as possible.

“And always remind yourself you’re not just representing yourself, you’re representing a football club thousands of people have supported for years, and it’s their everything.

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“It’ll still be here long after I’ve gone, and if we can help to give it as solid a platform as possible, and make sure it’s here for as long as possible.

“Then we’ll all have done a good job.”

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