When faced with a situation like this, we have a perennial problem: everyone has an opinion but what is needed is ACTION.
Wednesday 1st July 2020. I’m trying to leave my phone alone but my mind is whirring and I’d like to do a rare thing and apologise. It’s not something I ever do on social media, I do enough of it at home, where I’m always wrong. It seems a few people took umbrage at my initial tweets upon hearing the news and yes there was an element of “told you so” about them and for that I am sorry. With hindsight, I was perhaps quick to vent my spleen at the wrong people.
My frustration has been borne out of multiple failed attempts over the last 12 years to set up a fans’ association or trust, something with teeth to challenge the club’s governance.
Which is meant as no disrespect to the Official SC, who are undoubtedly the single biggest group associated with WAFC but by virtue of being official, it unfortunately creates an issue, when it is the owners of the club themselves, that become the enemy. The club’s SLO has been in touch with regard to engaging with the FSA and I am happy to get involved but the amount of stick I have had in the past about suggesting the set up of a fans’ trust means I have no intention to float this idea once more, and I simply don’t have the time with a job and a young family these days.
It has always made perfect sense to me to fix the roof while the sun is shining, rather than wait for it to cave in. Of course like most clubs, nobody sees the need when all is rosey and some people actually attack the people like me and my fellow grumpy fanzine miscreants for having the audacity to even suggest it.
There might be a bit of sentiment in there on our part such as the German fan owned model or clubs lower down the pyramid who have reformed or saved their club from unscrupulous owners. I’ve also long since felt that, with fund raising tens of thousands for Joseph’s Goal every year and previously the Anthony Ramsdale appeal, that one day, it might be the football club itself that we have to rally around for.
But that ship has sailed for us, it simply isn’t possible for any individual or group off the street to buy in to a Championship club such is the huge distortion in football finance in the top two divisions.
Oh for a Stan Jackson or a Jack Sudworth, a fine orator and rabble rouser. Again, those were different times though. I also don’t think it would ever work in this country now as social media has overwhelmed any attempt to try and drive a cohesive message. I’ll choose my words carefully here as this is a conciliatory post. We have as many (conflicting) opinions as we have fans and gaining consensus on anything is practically impossible. When faced with a situation like this, we have a perennial problem: everyone has an opinion but what is needed is ACTION.
But perhaps now we can agree on one thing, that we do need to stick together to get through this, and if I can apologise and throw my hat in, rather than trying to settle old scores than anyone can.
We have had a severe shock to the system and to revert back to words I have repeated previously: getting upset about a football’s club results and performances are futile. Even getting upset about the ownership is pointless, see above about the cash required to fund it.
What is important and is the only important thing is that we have a football club in the future. And perhaps the thought of losing it can galvanise all of our supporters together.
This is a special club and hopefully we will get through this and there is a happy ending, of some form. If there isn’t then I’d still rather have been a Wigan Athletic fan for half my life than a fan of anyone else my whole life.
Let us watch this play out, stay positive and don’t rely on the EFL to do the right thing, as they have proven time and time again that they don’t give a toss about clubs like ours.
We’ll be reet
An abridged version of this article appeared in the Wigan Evening Post 12th Man column
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