Ian Lenagan believes Wigan Warriors and Wigan Athletic will work even closer together – and would “love” to launch a joint-season ticket to watch both clubs.
He and executive director Kris Radlinski recently met with Darren Royle, who has been appointed executive chairman by Latics’ new owners, Hong Kong-based IEC.
Lenagan expects their relationship to grow even stronger.
He said: “I’m delighted that we have supporters that are Latics season-ticket holders, too - I’d love for us to be selling joint-season tickets for Latics and Warriors.
“I think our community departments are getting closer and closer together.
“There’s a lot of practicalities involved in it, but I think there will be other ways where we will get closer together in the near future because I’d rather it be Wigan against the world than Wigan Warriors against Wigan Athletic. There’s no point doing that.”
Lenagan, until recently the Football League chairman, has crossed paths with Royle in the past and reported their first meeting was a success.
“It went very well. It was a very positive first meeting,” he said. “Darren Royle is a great guy, and I know him from before.
“But what’s nice to see is their plans, where they are going over the next two or three years, and I think there’s an opportunity for even more togetherness between Latics and Wigan Warriors.
“It’s always sad to see someone leave, but you’ve got to recognise that Dave Whelan and David Sharpe in the last few years have done a great job as far as Wigan Athletic are concerned.
“Rather than being disappointed that they’ve stopped, I take a view that says the last 20-odds years that Dave has been involved have been superlative for Latics, and the way in which Wigan Athletic have been in the Premier League, and winning the FA Cup, is all great as far as Wigan is concerned.”
Lenagan believes hostilities between some sections of supporters is both a minority and fading into history. “I think the antagonism is a thing of the past, and it’s more connected to the days where Wigan Athletic were in the lower reaches of the Football League and Wigan RLFC were in the higher reaches of rugby,” he said.
“I think it’s dead and gone as far as I’m concerned, I’ve never thought that, and I go to many Wigan Athletic games. I was delighted last year to present the League One trophy to Wigan Athletic.
“I think it is animosity from 20 years ago, and you’re talking perhaps two per cent of the supporting base. We have lots and lots of season ticket holders who are Latics season ticket holders as well.”
Nodding to their double-winning campaign when Latics registered their famous FA Cup victory, he added: “In 2013 it was a spectacular event for Wigan and I’d love to think we can do it again together because I have a passion for Wigan Athletic as I do for Wigan Warriors.”