The national media continue their vendetta against Wigan Athletic

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Some of you may have been unfortunate enough to pick up the Daily Express recently and picked up the following nugget from Norwich fan and professional journalist Mick Dennis:

 

“As Wigan scrapped for their Premier League lives against Everton, almost a third of their small ground was empty. It has not been full all season. Not once. The average attendance is 16552, worse than four teams in League One. If so few folk in the town care whether Wigan go down, why should the rest of us”

 

Now by all accounts, this is just the latest in a long line of an almost bi-weekly attempt to discredit our football club and indeed any other which doesn’t meet his approval of what the mass media deem to be a proper football club.

Those of you who know me, know that I can be a touchy soul at the best of times, but there’s one thing that I do and that is stick up for my football club. So armed with what I have recently christened as the ‘Neill Rimmer Perm coefficient of crowd size’ – where crowd sizes are measured in proportion to the size of their catchment area, I wrote to Mick Dennis and Bill Bradshaw of the Daily Express to put across a few facts about Wigan Athletic.

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Dear Sir

FAO Mick Dennis and his continued vendetta against Wigan Athletic


I refer to the following text written by Mick Dennis “The Voice of Football” in the Daily Express two days ago:


“As Wigan scrapped for their Premier League lives against Everton, almost a third of their small ground was empty. It has not been full all season. Not once. The average attendance is 16552, worse than four teams in League One. If so few folk in the town care whether Wigan go down, why should the rest of us”

 

What a pathetic piece of spiteful journalism. For a start, Wigan Athletic’s attendances are only smaller than two teams in League One. Secondly, both these teams are from large cities (Sheffield – population 534,500 & Southampton – population 234,100)


To put this in context there are 81,203 people living in the town of Wigan. The 16,552 average attendance represent 20% of the town of Wigan. This compares very favourably with the 9% of Southampton residents who turn out to watch their team or the 7% of half of the population of Sheffield (allowing for the fact that the city has two teams) who turn out to watch Sheffield Wednesday.


So maybe you should be asking why so few people in Southampton and Sheffield care about their football club as neither get half as many people from their cities turning out to watch their football club as the town of Wigan does, when you take into consideration their population. Sorry to blitz you with facts but this is how it is, not how you have deemed to report it.


You are correct to state that the stadium hasn’t been full this season, it is the bane of the lives of those 20% who do turn out to watch our team who are acutely aware that more people do not want to come and watch us, however with Wigan being a lower division club for many years, and indeed a non league club just 30 years ago, many Wiganers support bigger, more establish clubs such as United, City, Liverpool and Everton. Those of us who turn up week in, week out cannot change this mentality, no matter how much we’d like to.


I believe you support Norwich, the only club in Norfolk and therefore a team with a catchment area of 850,300. Far from your club having great attendances, your crowds only represent 2% of your catchment area, if the same proportion of Norfolk people went watching Norwich as go watching Wigan Athletic then you would be getting average crowds of 170,300.

I care about my team, I care about my town and so do many others (proportionally). I care enough to ask you to please put the record straight and do your little bit to stop the lazy journalism crusade against our little club. Perhaps when our football club is put in a more realistic context, as above, you would consider doing so.


Thanks

Jimmy T

Mudhutter fanzine editor
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Now some of you reading this Wigan Athletic fans or otherwise, will be shaking your head probably worrying about my sanity thinking ‘why does it matter, just don’t buy the paper’ (and heaven forbid I did buy the paper, I don’t)
Well it does matter to me. Firstly for the reason already mentioned – I stick up for my club and as a fanzine editor, I like to think I’ve got quite good at it over the years. But secondly, bad, inaccurate journalism is a plague which is catching and half the stick we get from other club’s fans is solely down to pathetic, cack handed copy whipping up a frenzy of hate against clubs like ours, punished solely for the heinous crime of being a small town club in the biggest league in the world.
The more that they write it, the more people believe it and the more mud gets flung at our football club. If you care like me enough to take issue with it, then by all means email the above or a few choice (but please make them non abusive) words of your own in this case to bill.bradshaw@express.co.uk. Indeed, whenever or wherever, you read negative, inaccurate drivel about our football club – don’t stand for it, email them to complain and let as many of your fellow fans know as possible and one day they might decide to stop treating us as an easy target!
PS If I do receive a response I will let you know…

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