Unless you lived under a rock for the last 10 years, you’ll know that Wigan Athletic is renowned for empty seats!
It’s a stigma we’ve had to live with for years, first brought to the attention of the media, when Wigan had the audacity to have empty seats in the Premier League in 2006! Sacrilege had been brought upon the Premier League branding, how dare Wigan have a single empty seat!
Of course you’ll know empty seats had never been seen since that fateful Tuesday evening in January 1993, when Wimbledon played Everton at Selhurst Park. With 3,039 fans, no matter what angle the Sky cameras used, including ‘Snail Cam’, the Armchair fans could see empty seats.
So the very next day, up stepped Richard’s PR monster, and with new branding, even better camera angles and even newer flashy logos at Sky, the Premier League ’empty seat’ was renowned to History.
Well until Wigan turned up to the Premier League. Their first season was novel, ‘little Wigan’, the Cinderella team, everyone’s 2nd favourite team! Well that was until Paul Jewell’s team, started to beat team after team, in those opening weeks.
It was the 2nd season, when fate would turn Wigan in to the evil Marketing devil, ticket sales started to tail off as results didn’t emulate the 1st season.
Empty seats started to appear, yes, the media were aghast; of course it had been 13 years since the last empty seat had been seen in the Premier League! So the media just didn’t know how to handle it?
So not knowing, meant they delivered this news with anger & derision. How could ‘little Wigan’ spoil this 13 year unblemished 100% capacity of the Premier League? How will this affect the advertising revenue stream in the Far East, is it going to be tarnished?
As the season’s rolled on, and now ‘shit little Wigan’, meant the issue became even worse, they sometimes had up to 12,000 empty Premier League seats in their stadium! Even Gary Lineker took the piss out of us on ‘Match of the Day’ a few times!
So with this & like me, if you use Twitter, you’ll know, #wafc often has opposition fans taking pictures of the half empty stadium and posting them, with the accompanying ridicule.
The Championship has not seen any downturn in empty seats, but at least that ghastly Wigan have now been removed from the Premier League and 100% capacity has returned and Far East revenues are back on the strategic positive incline.
So, as you can imagine, WTF am I going on about!
Well with this Wednesday evening, everything changed for Wigan!
Because now, if ever the issue of empty seats at Wigan are brought up, we can highlight that England, yes our beloved England had 49,819 empty seats for the Norway match. That’s about 37,000 more empty seats than Wigan ever had in the Premier League. Oh and so you’re aware, England announced before the Norway match that things are not going to get any better, as to pay off the FA Visa Card, they need to play matches at Wembley until 2023, that’s 9 more years of Wayne Rooney.
Oh by the way, no I’m not bitter just more cynical. Also if you don’t already know & thanks to the TV, Wigan’s match to Ipswich was moved from the 20th to the 22nd of September. So that means instead of a 600 mile round trip on a Saturday, those same 600 miles including 200 miles on Norfolk’s finest B Roads, will be done on a Monday.
This means asking your Boss/Head Teacher to leave just after lunch & returning back to Ipswich at 3am. So expect some of those ghastly empty seats, though they’ll be in the away end & of course the home stand too! You’ll not see any Wigan fans taking photos and posting on Twitter, and I can guarantee there won’t be 49,819 empty seats at the DW that evening.
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