Nightmare before Christmas coming to an end?

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Is this it? Is the nightmare going to come to an end? In this horrific years of years will Wigan Athletic supporters be bestowed with an early Christmas present?

As always over the last eleven weeks – who knows? It’s now over two weeks since Jose Miguel Garrido Cristo was disqualified by the EFL and in that time Felipe Moreno of Leganes has emerged as the sole investor behind the revamped takeover bid. A revamped takeover bid that at the time of writing hasn’t been signed off by the EFL but it feels like it’s now only a matter of time until it is.

We’ve heard this week from a number of Spanish journalists, including Greame Hunter seen as one of the most authoritative voices on Spanish football. He and many others speak very well about the man from Andalusia.

Leganes have been a club transformed under his leadership along with that of his wife (president of Leganes) Victoria Pavon. The club from the outskirts of Madrid rose through the divisions in Spain under their leadership and became a force to be reckoned with in Spain. Only falling out of La Liga last season.

On the face of it if Moreno is passed (or rather the whole bid ratified as Moreno has already passed the owners and directors test failed by Garrido Cristo) it represents a very good deal for Wigan Athletic. But as always the devil will be in the detail.

There has been rumour abound surrounding the plans for the club, from running it with minimal investment to potentially closing the academy. None of this has actually been confirmed as fact, and the only public declaration on the deal comes from the man who has now been disqualified and is to have no part in the running of the club.

If we do take what Garrido Cristo said as gospel it would mean aiming to run Wigan Athletic on a sustainable footing again, whilst aiming to invest in improving the academy. If Felipe Moreno is of that opinion too and that actually plays out then I think most Wigan Athletic fans would be confident for better days ahead.

Equally I understand why so many people are apprehensive over the takeover. We’ve been stung badly over the last six months. Lives and livelihoods teared apart on a whim by two people on the other side of the world who had never even stepped foot in Wigan.

Those issues have been exacerbated by a horrific six months spent in administration, a period of administration that I maintain has been far more damaging than it needed to be. Constant missteps and miscommunication have led to a distrust of any sort of process and the eleven and a bit weeks that the Spanish takeover has rumbled on for hasn’t helped matters at all.

But without firm evidence to the contrary we have to take our prospective owners at their word and hope this time we have found custodians who will care for Wigan Athletic like we do.

There’s a lot of rebuilding to do at Wigan Athletic and it’s going to take investors aware of that to turn this ship around. On the pitch we had a typically rollercoaster week, a nerve shredding win over in-form Accrington followed by a humbling pasting at the hands of Rochdale.

I think that Rochdale defeat really drove home our situation, the last time we played Rochdale was in early spring of 2018. We’d just reached the FA Cup quarter-finals, were flying on our way back to the Championship and it felt like we were on top of the world. Tuesday’s defeat was the complete opposite.

A lot of people speak about the disconnect between themselves and Latics, sadly that’s just going to continue until we’re back in grounds and judging by today’s announcement it could well be next season before we’re back in any sort of number.

Amazingly we’re still in touch with the lower reaches of the division and if and it’s a BIG IF Felipe Moreno can look to invest in a few players to support our amazing young lads we may just be able to celebrate at the start of next season in League One.

Time will tell.

Sean Livesey

 

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