Wigan Athletic: The 12th Man - 'We need a bit of tough love right now. Re-set our expectations, fear the worst so you don’t end up disappointed, and remember the good times will return'

Our panel of Wigan Athletic fans have their say as the club's new life in League One is confirmed...but will that be the end of the bad news...?
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Fans outside the DW

Martin Tarbuck:

Look, I know you want positivity and inspiration now, but I think first it is necessary to inject a dose of reality into where we are, and adjust our mindset towards the likely future of the good ship HMS Wigan Athletic. Firstly, we need that new owner through the door, or else we really are in trouble. I have been guilty as many other fans of getting into that dreamy “everything’s going to be all right mode”. All we need(ed) was to win the appeal, get a new owner in the door sharpish, and in the meantime, get him (or her!) to issue a couple of contracts in the NewCo securing the long-term future of Messrs Cook and Morsy at the club. With our two leaders securely on board, the rest would surely fall into line, and we can get back to normal in a matter of days. Get real! I’ve seen those images with suggested teams put out there for next season, and it is essentially this year’s team, minus Robinson and Moore! Again, get real! That would probably have been our team had we stayed in the Championship and not gone into administration. Has the financial disaster of the past few weeks taught us nothing? This has been an absolute car-crash situation and we will be climbing out of the wreckage for months, if not years to come. However, keep with me here, for there is nothing to suggest we can’t make a full recovery in time. It just isn’t going to happen overnight. Much as I’d love the predictions of us to romp to the League One title next year come true, passing shouty Yorkshiremen on the way, this is not the same as our two recent relegations from the Championship. It does have some similarities to the Gary Caldwell title year, in that we will probably start the season with a completely new team. However, we will not be able to sign anything like the same level of players in terms of transfer fees or wages. It will be kids, freebies and misfits aplenty. If we do retain any of the existing squad, then I would not expect great things of them. They have worked admirably on 20 per cent of wages in the short term but, due to factors outside of their control, they will now be facing a relegation pay cut of up to 50 per cent of their wages on a permanent basis. Now I know footballers are paid more than the average person on the street but, even so, I’d have the hump if that was me. As it stands, we could conceivably still be in administration when next season starts, we will have sold quite a few players, and have no ability to offer contracts for any new signings. Actually registering enough players to start the season could be our first challenge, so please don’t dream of winning the League One title.

Success for me next season will be staying in League One. I would be delighted to be proved wrong, but I don’t see it. We’ve seen enough over the past few weeks to know the kicks and blows will keep landing on us and, above all else, the next 12 – 24 months is all about SURVIVAL. If we get through that and to a position of stability, then we can start looking upwards again. The key commodity we as fans will need to possess is patience. I’m not going to open the Paul Cook discussion as well, but just say that the last 12 months has been clear evidence of that. Whether the next manager is Leam Richardson or AN Other, they will need 10 times the level of patience afforded to Cook, as they will have much less to work with. Losing every week is never a happy camp but – in the short term, while we are in transition and, ideally, turnaround mode – it is probably going to happen more often than we’d all like. But please don’t point the finger, and never forget who is to blame for this, and what they tried to do to our beloved club. The survival of our football club is the biggest battle we will win this year. The ‘Progress With Unity’ motto is never more apt but, unfortunately, we have to be realistic and accept we will be a very different football club by the time next season begins. We may have to take a few more steps back before we can consider moving forward. We will hopefully never lose that fighting spirit, but we might be a little bit lacking in quality when the bones of our club have finished being picked at. We may need to be supportive of young players who get thrust into the first team, and be tolerant of player and manager mistakes. We need a bit of tough love right now. Re-set our expectations, fear the worst so you don’t end up disappointed, and remember the good times will return. Even though there will undoubtedly be more pain over the coming months. It’s not as catchy but maybe we should temporarily change our motto to ‘we’re probably going to lose today but we are still here to celebrate the fact our football club is still alive’ when the season restarts.


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Well we have been well and truly stitched up by Stanley Choi and the invisible man and the EFL...twice. So we lose the appeal, to be expected. The EFL let us down badly by not doing any proper checks on the invisible man, checks which many good people of Wigan did in their own time. So has the EFL are complicit in Wigan Athletic going into administration? What better way to help out a club in trouble than hit them with a points penalty to cover their own incompetence. Now on to the appeal, and nobody is ever going to convince me it wasn’t set up that the result came out a couple of hours before the EFL was basking in the glory of ‘The Richest Game In Football at Wembley Stadium. All fitted up so the news regarding Wigan Athletic barely makes a ripple. What does the future hold? I don’t know. But it’s looking very bleak, through the eyes of an angry and frustrated fan at the moment. Stay Safe.

Caddy from the 5:

Well the most predictable of outcomes was announced on Tuesday night and, let’s face it, we all knew we wouldn’t be getting the 12 points back. No way were the clowns from the EFL ever going to admit they’ve made a massive cock up of this whole charade. So that’s £500k we didn’t have down the drain. All eyes are now on who actually wants to buy a League One club with basically nothing going for it (bar the people that are still there and the fans). And all because some horrible ‘bloke’ wanted to save face 10,000 miles away. Yes, we can blame the EFL,but remember it was Stanley Choi who caused all this and we,the fans, will never forget that name. Karma works in mysterious ways, they say, let’s hope so. Personally I think League One is the best place for us for the time being. We’d have been whipping boys in the Championship – we may still be in League One – but with the inevitable break-up of the team, we’re going to be relying on what’s left and free agents no doubt. The main thing is we will, hopefully, still have a Wigan Athletic to watch, and we as fans must now come together in numbers, get off the couch, get out the boozer and support the lads. They need us more than ever now, so let’s show these new owners we really do care about our club and back them to hilt. The poker player from Hong Kong has set us back years, we all know this. But we must start again, and do what we can to make the town proud of us, just like they were in May 2013. We’re Little Wigan, the biggest small club in the world, we’ve seen things other clubs – yes you, Barnsley – will never see. Let’s never forget who’s caused all this, but it’s time to move on...WE GO AGAIN. Remember boys and girls...we upset the odds. It’s what we do time and time again, and you’ll never stop us getting in the train to Blackpool at 7am cross eyed (stolen from Twitter, best line ever) WE ARE WIGAN LATICS,WE DO WHAT WE WANT. Right time for ‘Bow...