Unprecedented times

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We live in truly unprecedented times, it feels like it’s been a constant curve of sheer madness since 2016 but the last few weeks have really ramped that unprecedented feeling up a notch.

How does this relate to Latics I hear you ask?

Well sadly if the experts are to be believed (remember them? Seems they’re back in vogue) Covid19 will soon be affecting all of us in a big way. Football really shouldn’t matter at times like this, after all it is only a game and the safety of the population should be the over riding factor.

That includes football supporters as much as it includes any other member of the community.

As I write this Latics absolutely crucial trip to Huddersfield is on; a trip incidentally I’ve been looking forward to all season. The chance for a few beers along the Transpennine Ale Trail and a trip to a stadium that holds pretty good memories for Wigan Athletic.

Add in a huge up turn in Latics form and a crucial match in the bottom half of the table and everything was set for another classic away day.

All of that could go out of the window, and apart from the frustration if that is the case myself and I’m sure many other hundreds of Latics fans who would have travelled over the Pennines we can’t really have many complaints.

When you look at the social distancing taking place in China, Italy and many other European countries it’s only a matter of time until the Premier League and Football League have to follow suit.

From a purely football point of view this represents a number of issues – if matches go behind closed doors as they have in Serie A, La Liga and the Champions League this week you risk spreading the problem to pubs and bars and in the case of PSG outside the Stadium.

If you simply cancel the league as null and void there will be a number of major issues that may end up in court. What about Liverpool’s first league title in 30 years? Leeds potential return to the Premier League, the fight against relegation up and down the football pyramid.

Can we really just stop and start again in August? And who’s to say this whole situation will have cleared up by the Summer?

Throw in the Euros, The Olympics and the Champions League and Europa League for good measure and it adds up to a living nightmare for football authorities across the lands.

I dread to think what potentially months without match day revenue that so many clubs particularly in the Football League rely on will do to the already precarious financial position of these clubs.

Wigan Athletic aren’t immune to that and with an unsettled ownership structure for the first time in two decades it really is a worry. If there is to be a pause let’s hope it’s short and we can get back to that time honoured debate about ‘who really is our best left-back’.

But as of 13.30 GMT on Thursday Saturday’s fixtures are still on so let’s look at that match as though we’ll be seeing it on Saturday. With a nine match unbeaten run under our belts it’s time Latics definitely made it ten.

Saturday’s draw with Luton was disappointing and sadly predictable. I was surprised just how happy Graeme Jones was with a point. Luton came simply to spoil the match and clung on for their point for dear life. If Michael Jacobs shot had snuck in we may well have been sitting pretty on 43 points.

Huddersfield will be a completely different prospect and if it does go ahead a result in favour of Lancashire’s own Wigan Athletic will go a long way to ensuring a third consecutive season of Championship football – whenever that may be.

Keep safe

Sean Livesey

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