Loyalty Versus Profit?

The journey Wigan Athletic have embarked upon has proven legendary. The underdogs with the odds stacked high against them have not only flourished against the likes of Everton at Goodison Park, but have succeeded in dominating the final at Wembley against last season’s Champions - Manchester City.

The goal had been coming and it was substitute Ben Watson who sealed it with a perfectly aimed header following a corner, but the man of the match went to Callum McManaman who played Manchester City's starting eleven off the pitch singlehandedly.

Custodian Dave Whelan

Roberto Martinez is the character who has drilled motivation into his Wigan side, urging them to believe in themselves and he has achieved the unimaginable. His future has been questioned by some media sources recently, but what more can a manager do after winning the FA cup and taking his team to Europe? There is just one more task Martinez must succeed in; keeping his squad in the Premier League. With two games to play it is imperative that Wigan steal the six points on offer to ensure safety and prevent the drop to the championship.

Ultimately though, Dave Whelan is the inspirational man who has led Wigan to their new found glory. Dave Whelan, the man who broke his leg at the same stadium in the same competition of 1960 with Blackburn Rovers, during a 3-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers, has finally found closure. Dave Whelan has proven that money does not make success; instead, passion, love and care do.

Whelan, a fervent Blackburn Rovers supporter, stated that he had dreamt of playing his former club (previously owned by his close friend Jack Walker) in the FA cup, but despite his allegiance to Rovers, Whelan has put his heart and soul into Wigan Athletic. Like a father to a son, Dave Whelan has nourished his northern club and the euphoria on his face after Martinez lifted the FA Cup Trophy was an unforgettable, tear provoking sight like no other.  

In an age where rich oligarchs are viewing football clubs as prospects for globalisation as opposed to an asset to the community, and the FA are wantonly rearranging kick off times to suit their own financial gain, Dave Whelan can be seen as a lonely sentinel fighting the battle against the army of egotistical business people, who spare little thought for the foundations their clubs are built upon - the fans.

Wigan Athletic beat Manchester City today because they were the better team. They were the better team because instilled in them is a sense of togetherness. Dave Whelan resembles a custodian; by definition he is the owner of Wigan Athletic but the most important thing that Dave Whelan recognises, is that in reality, Wigan Athletic is a club owned by its fans. That is why Wigan Athletic succeeded today. They are a club who have avoided the path of greed, profit and money. They are a community club, and a proud one at that.


  1. Well constructed article highlighting good points. I like it. Well done !