We may have lost the battle, but we won’t lose the war.

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So that’s that then, just 34 days after Wigan Athletic were plunged in to administration and all of our lives were turned upside down – Wigan Athletic were officially relegated from the Championship. Ending a two year stay in the second tier of English football, a relegation that this side indeed this club should not be facing.

A relegation brought about by people with no interest in our football club, our town or us. A relegation brought about due to a lack of proper oversight by the football authorities that are supposed to protect us, a relegation that has done and will continue to do untold damage to our football club and our town. 75 livelihoods have been lost as a result, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

It wasn’t surprising to see the appeal rejected out of hand on Wednesday, disappointing yes but not at all surprising. It is just yet another marker in an unbelievably awful year for all of us; Wigan Athletic or otherwise.  I fail to see what could possibly be seen as force majeure if Wigan Athletic’s case doesn’t apply.

The Football League may as well remove the right of appeal because if our case doesn’t warrant a rethink of the penalty no one’s will.

As important as it is for us to now focus on the future it is important to take stock of what has happened over the last few weeks. The very soul of our club has been ripped out through no fault of our own and we are now in a very real battle to salvage anything tangible.

This should not have been allowed to happen, just as the original Wimbledon should never have been allowed to move to Milton Keynes. Just as Ken Anderson should never have been allowed to get his hands on Bolton Wanderers and Bury should never have been allowed to fall out of the Football League. There are countless other examples but these are some of the most stark.

All efforts now need to be concentrated on securing a buyer for Wigan Athletic, someone who will safe guard our future but in the near and long term. Sadly Dave Whelan MK II is not going to come over the hill and spend multi millions returning us to the Premier League, football has changed considerably since 2005 when we were promoted to the Premier League.

The kind of money Dave spent back then may allow you to scrape in to fourth bottom in the Championship these days but even that is too rich a price for us as events over the last few weeks have shown. It’ll be a long time till we return to the upper echelons of the football pyramid if we ever do, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Whatever we can salvage of the club – be it the academy, the stadium, the training grounds see us at an advantage over other clubs in League One. But that shows how important it is that we see new ownership take over soon. Let alone the fact the season begins in just under six weeks and we currently have no owners, not to mention a squad soon to be sold from under us and a stand in management team.

Dependent on the club being sold in the next few weeks stating up and re-building in League One next season could well be one of our biggest achievements yet.

We may have lost the battle but we won’t lose the war.

Sean Livesey

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