Like a nightmare you can’t wake up from

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Paul Cook

How are we all? Sleeping? No me neither, in a year that currently manages to get worse with every passing week the last seven days in the life of Wigan Athletic represent some of the darkest days I think I’ve experienced and I say this as simply a supporter – spare a thought for those poor souls whose livelihoods depend on the club and lost their jobs this week.

So Wigan Athletic in administration – week one. How was it for you?

After the initial shock of Thursday’s announcement I’ve moved between anger, to frustration to sheer terror at what lays ahead for our beloved football club. I’m sure we all feel the same but I’ve been absolutely floored by the amazing response from Wigan Athletic fans.

We may not be large in number but I think in the last week we have shown exactly why so many people have such a special affinity with our club. We simply aren’t like other clubs, if you don’t get it you don’t get it but Wigan Athletic means so much to so many unique people and that has been shown in its droves in the last week.

Be it the amazing fundraising efforts, the Sherlock type investigations in to the murky underbelly of this deal on twitter or people lobbying anybody who could possibly raise awareness of what’s happening to our club by any means possible.

I was quite worried about what would ever happen to us if we found ourselves in this situation, you could argue that having it so good for so long under Dave Whelan had left the club with a soft underbelly. Many clubs in the football league have had regular battles with their owners and ownership structures over the last quarter of the century. Where we literally had the perfect owner, which desensitises you to some of the more serious issues that can befall a football club.

But I’m happy to report that all sections of the fan base, be that supporters club and fanzine writers to podcasters and young tics all areas of the club have galvanised to pull in the same direction in order to save this institution. So where do we find ourselves today? Compared to a week ago, according to Gerald Krasner we have now had over 50 expressions of interest in to buying the club which the administrators believe “could lead to three or five very serious offers”.

That all sounds quite positive but let us not forget the perilous position we find ourselves in, 75 members of staff many of those who have been with the club for a long time were made redundant on Monday night. Administrators are still only talking about there being a good chance of completing the season – not that this a guarantee and as other local clubs have shown more recently, expressions of interest will not automatically become a sale. Gerald Krasner says he is a little less optimistic than last week, but still confident of a sale. I won’t ask why he is less optimistic than last week but naturally that’s a worrying take away from today’s press conferences.

On the positive side of things the administrators have confirmed that the 12 point deduction will be appealed by the club. Whilst Lisa Nandy and Andy Burnham who are doing fantastic work in keeping our story high on the national media agenda have been invited to meet with the EFL – who so far have been conspicuous by their absence in all of this. Nandy also mentioned her hope that those who have lost their jobs could be re-employed  if the club is sold swiftly.

So some slight glimpses of light in the darkness but all they are are glimpses. I don’t need to go over what’s happened in the last week. We all knows what’s gone on. Through no fault of our own our football club has been torn apart and in the process torn away from us – it is imperative we manage to salvage it, whether that is in the Championship or League One it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that Wigan Athletic still has a football club. We owe it to all of those who fought so hard to keep football and then maintain league football in the town. We owe it to them that we do everything we can to ensure that Wigan Athletic survive.

Apparently there’s a football match tomorrow but it hasn’t even come in to my thinking with everything off the pitch taking precedence, I’m desperate for our club to survive and survive in the Championship at that. But with everything that’s going on a football match feels from a different world at the moment., the players came out on Saturday and alongside Paul Cook made it clear that they wouldn’t be lying down in this battle and I believe them. All they need to know is that everyone is behind them, if it’s a step too far so be it but let’s go down fighting.

After this article was written we had a glimpse of that fighting spirit as Latics got three points against QPR at the DW Stadium. Once again Paul Cook’s side were the better team and I think a 1-0 defeat flattered Rangers. There’s a long way to go yet and we essentially need to win every game to stand any chance but after hearing the screams of joy at full-time I wouldn’t bet against this very special football club – unlike a certain invisible owner was alleged to have done.

As Paul Cook said “We’re not relegated yet, we’re still fighting and we won’t go down without a fight”.

So please if you haven’t yet please consider donating to our crowdfunding appeal, not everyone can I understand that. Times are hard, but if you can’t please tell your friends. Wigan needs it’s football team – https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/official-wigan-athletic-football-club-fundraiser

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