Fight for our football club

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Over the last few weeks, and certainly the last few days my faith has been shook.

The seismic events that have been a slow burn since last autumn are seemingly coming to a head.

What we know is that Phoenix 21 are on their way out. Already gone are Mal Brannigan, Oliver Gottman and Tom Markham and frankly good riddance.

What we don’t know is the form that Wigan Athletic will take in the future. If any.

It’s been a distressing time over the season with numerous missed payments, numerous points deductions, numerous ridiculous decisions both on and off the pitch which sees an ownership group lauded for saving us just two short years ago now being driven out of town as charlatans.

The constant speculation of whether Wigan Athletic will make it through the summer and whether we will find a saviour (fizzy pop Mon or otherwise) is damaging for people’s mental health.

It’s been damaging for everyone all season and frankly on Tuesday night I felt like giving up.

But then on Wednesday I attended a funeral of a great friend of mine and my families. Geoff Scott passed away the day before we played Rotherham.

Geoff was Latics through and through, one of the first people I remember as a child stood on the St Andrews side at Springfield Park. Making sure I was ok whilst in the daunting atmosphere of the supporters club at Springfield Park.

He was there through thick and thin for his club. From watching us through the rise up the non-league’s to the Premier League, the FA Cup win, the European tour and the bouncing between League One and Championship over the last decade.

When I attended the service to celebrate his life on Wednesday I was surrounded by Wiganer’s and Latics fans of all ages, of all genders all there to celebrate the life of a Latics fan.

Only just in his sixth decade he was taken far too soon from the people who loved him.

As the Monkees ‘I’m a believer’ played out at the end of the service it made me think that we are worth fighting for.

Wigan Athletic is so important to so many people. Too important, we can’t see it fail. If Latics fail so does our town, so does football. We need to fight and we need to ensure that whatever happens we have a football club to watch at the end of this.

There seems to be a glimmer of hope on the horizon. There seems to be interest in the football club – fizzy pop Mon notwithstanding.

Whilst the owner (not to be confused with the chairman) held a zoom summit with extremely worried staff last Monday and assured them that the remaining salaries would be paid this week and that they would continue to fund the football club until a takeover is completed.

Now we’ve been told this story before, in fact endless times this year. Why should we believe it now ? Well there’s a difference here, this is now the owner (finally) taking some control. It could still be complete nonsense and if it is we are indeed up that creek without a paddle.

But now is the time that we need to fight, organise and get ready for a ridiculously bumpy summer. The hope is that we can convince the EFL that we can indeed start the season and actually finish it. If we can’t prove that or provide those reassurances we won’t start the season and our fate will be as every bit as worse as Bury’s was in 2019.

It may feel like giving up is the best option here. But it isn’t. We need to fight for our football club. We need to fight because of all those people, going back to the 1930’s who fought to establish football in the town of Wigan.

Those who fought so valiantly for admission to the football league and all of those who have come before us. People like Geoff, who to them Wigan Athletic was their all.

We need to fight to make sure we and our children and our grand children have a football team in their town. Their football team.

It’s going to be the fight of our lives but we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again.

For Geoff Scott 1962-2023.


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