It’s easy for me now to say that I would take the FA Cup win, it is something tangible that Wigan have won and I can taste the victory and the moment when that Ben Watson header his the back of the net. But would I now swap it for Premier League survival?
By getting relegated it could cost us somewhere in the region of £40 million a year. Yet with players to leave on frees in the summer, the FA Cup tournament money, and the parachute payments from the Premier League our financial future isn’t a problem; like many media outlets have reported Wigan are in no need to sell any players.
Instead what we can now do is go through a period of rebuilding. Many of the youth players coming through will now be given a chance to show they can handle playing for the Latics senior team. We could choose a full starting 11 with players 22 years old or younger and all of them I would say could handle themselves.
Was that imaginable ten years ago? Or even eighteen years ago? The short answer is a resounding no.
The growth and change at the club in that space of time has been magnificent and to live through it we are special people. We have seen eight years of sustained Premier League stay, two football league titles, two major finals reached, one Football League Trophy, and most recently one FA Cup. Is that not success?
No, okay how about making a profit last year with balanced books? That plays a massive part in the future of this club because as we now stand we are self-sufficient enough that we are on a level footing. That’s not to mention the new training and youth facilities which on their way and have been financed.
We do have debt, somewhere in the region of about £15 million running debt to the bank, yet all the many millions we once owed Whelan have been cut off, and the day he sells the club he will get some of it back.
So Wigan fans never fear. While the rest of the countries fans may smirk behind cover faces (although this article at Rocker Report proves there are some out there who aren’t) we can be proud of what we have achieved and how far we have come in the past eighteen years. The relegation maybe a bad mark on what has been a great record, but we are still around and will be for years to come.
Others fans are just jealous that we have become part of a select group of teams which have won the FA Cup. That will live forever, the success of a team is what people remember after you have gone.