Last call for the Championship flight. Sup your 5am airport pint and climb aboard for another season of in flight entertainment, no doubt interrupted by a spot of turbulence as we go.
Of course, it is the silly season yet again and there are clear lines of demarcation between what comes out of the club and some of the noises being made by some of the fans. If the first line on their CV isn’t “pestering Sharpy and Alan Nixon on Twitter”, then it certainly should be.
The lines of demarcation between on field and off field activity are less well defined though, and it is hard to provide a clear distinction given the ongoing uncertainty over ownership and funding, as clearly one is impacting the other.
The new owners are hardly sending out the message which inspires confidence given the time it has taken to progress the takeover, and the intent so far shows no signs of the proposed incoming billionaires some people were championing.
I’m not even sure how I feel about Joe Royle’s involvement. He’s a 69 year old man with little left to prove in football and no allegiance to Latics, in fact, a lot of Latics fans dislike him intensely due to the play off games when he was at City.
Alternatively, he is an experienced head with good football contacts, and it is good to see the new owners putting a football man in situ to make the key decisions. Me, I thought that was the manager’s job but maybe that’s an outdated way of thinking.
So long as Cookie is happy with the arrangement, and more importantly, the level of funding to be provided for him to sign the players HE wants – then so am I. Leave him to get on with it, he’s earned that right after last year.
The endless drone of noise emanating from social media is understandable given the uncertainty surrounding the club. You’ll have to forgive me if I’m less concerned about whether we have a left back or not however, when the club’s whole future is in the hands of the mysterious International Entertainment Corporation.
The club itself has been brilliant all summer and the existing staff certainly are doing their best to create a buzz for the new season with great content and videos and interaction with the fans, so for them it is business as usual.
Ultimately, as ever it is about eleven blokes on the pitch but I do hope throughout the backroom, all staff are retained and allowed to continue as normal and we can continue the buzz from last season.
We know we’re not going to be winning as many, and playing against much bigger teams now but with the spirit Paul Cook has built, I’m sure we will be ready to give it a go, no matter who ends up wearing those eleven shirts.
So, Saturday 3pm at the DW Stadium versus Sheffield Wednesday: Business as usual. Can’t wait!
Article first published in the Wigan Evening Post’s 12th Man column on Friday 3rd August 2018
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