Let me start by congratulating the town’s other professional sporting team on their success the other week. Yes it’s belated, yes it’s done through clenched teeth but sporting success deserves a pat on the back. The buzz of achieving something like a Super League title must be great after so long without and the style with which victory was achieved (ignoring the niggle at the back of my brain which still doesn’t understand how a team gets two chances in a knock out competition) seemed impressive.
Other than that, I’ve nothing to say. Gone of the days of me being bitter and blue about all things rugby, I’ve settled into a comfortable period where I can be satisfied that I’m not really bothered about the sport without having to justify it all the time. It’s still is, and probably always will be, them and us, but that’s to do with aspects of their support, not the club itself.
Which brings us nicely to the council and their understandable pride in the town’s sporting success.
Since 2005, and Latics ascendancy to the top flight, there have been signs scattered around the entrances to the borough proclaiming it to be the home of Super League rugby and Premier League football or it might have been the other way around, but that hardly matters. What does matter is that at some point over the past few days, the town ceased to be the home of Premier League football.
I’m not exactly sure, how strongly I about this. I was conditioned from an early age that the town didn’t particularly care about Latics so part of me is neither surprised or appalled. Then I have this other part, the part that saw these signs as a indication of things changing, not in our favour, but at least towards a stage where my son could go to a Wigan school and not be lambasted for supporting his home town team.
It’s this other side of me that’s typing now, the side that knows, even if we were in the fourth division that Latics would deserve a place on those signs. That knows that people who think that the town’s worldwide fame stems from the rugby are deluded. The part of me that suspects that there are probably more people out there who know about the borough through Pataks than know about Rugby League full stop. The part of me that knows that actually it’s worth pointing out to the council that we’re not happy about this.
You might not feel strongly about it either, but if you’ve got this far it’s either because you’ve come to gloat, or because you’re a football fan. If you’re the latter then surely it’s worth pointing out to the council that, whilst winning trophy’s might be success, so is maintaining a presence in the top flight of the English top flight. It’ll take a couple of minutes to get your point across.
Or will once you’ve copied and pasted the following into an email and sent it to firstname.lastname@example.org
To the Chief Executive of Wigan MBC,
I am a supporter of Wigan Athletic, the town’s Premier League football team. I am not alone. In fact there are as many people if not more who watch Wigan Athletic in the town of Wigan than watch Wigan Warriors. There are probably thousands more football fans in the town who watch Premier League football than watch rugby league.
Yet you wouldn’t know this upon entering the borough of Wigan, as your council has seen fit to use taxpayer’s money (our money that is) to change the signage. The signs upon entering Wigan through Standish said ‘Welcome to Wigan, Home of Premier League Football & Super League’. They now say ‘Welcome to Wigan, home of 2010 Super League Champions’ and no mention at all of the football club, which last time I checked, was a Premier League football club watched all over the globe and also actively supported by many thousands of your taxpayers.
I have no objection to the town celebrating the rugby league club’s achievements. But as a fan of Wigan Athletic, I do not think you have any right to ignore our football club in this way. This is an abuse of power, misuse of public money and a mis-representation of Wigan Athletic Football Club.
As one of many Wigan Athletic fans who will no doubt be contacting you, we simply ask for all signage to be reverted back to include Wigan Athletic and a full public apology for choosing not to respect the thousands of taxpaying Wigan Athletic fans who live in this town which you have been appointed to represent.
We are not asking for favourable treatment. However, we are completely within our rights to expect parity.
A Wigan Athletic fan.
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