Ipswich Town’s opposition: a busy departure lounge at crisis club Wigan
- Credit: PA
Ipswich Town begin their League One campaign with a home game against crisis club Wigan Athletic tomorrow. Carl Marston casts his eye over the troubled Latics
If ever a club deserved to be called a ‘club in crisis,’ then Wigan Athletic fit the bill.
The Latics are in a sorry start, going into tomorrow’s League One opener at Portman Road.
Relegated from the Championship, plunged into administration, a spell of managerial uncertainty, and a mass player exodus. There’s not been much in the way of good news at the Greater Manchester club.
In fact, it’s all been happening at the DW Stadium this year, just seven years after proud Wigan Athletic were gracing the Premier League’s main stage.
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And also just seven years after the Latics famously won the FA Cup, thanks to Ben Watson’s injury-time winner in a 1-0 victory over Manchester City in 2013. That must seem light years away.
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As late as Friday, Wigan were finally given verbal permission from the EFL to start the league season under administration.
The club has been in administration since July 1, a subsequent 12-points deduction seeing them relegated from the Championship.
Administrators Begbies Traynor set a deadline of August 31 for the club to be sold, a deadline which has now passed.
Fans raised more than their target of £500,000 to secure the future of their club, just 24 hours before the Latics were supposed to sell the club to stay in existence at the end of August.
So for the moment, the club has avoided following in the footsteps of neighbours Bury, who were expelled from the Football League and are facing liquidation.
A NEW BOSS
A fresh start, however uncertain, is likely to happen under John Sheridan, who should today be unveiled as the new manager for the trip to Ipswich tomorrow, following Paul Cook’s resignation in July.
Wigan’s administrators look on the cards to make the appointment of former Oldham boss Sheridan, who has most recently been managing League of Ireland side Waterford.
Leam Richardson has been the caretaker manager in the interim period, and would be likely to stay on as a coach under Sheridan, who only took over at Waterford at the beginning of July.
John Sheridan’s brother Darren Sheridan actually played for Wigan from 1999 to 2001.
Wigan’s team which lines up against Paul Lambert’s Town tomorrow will bear no resemblance to the one that ended the last season in the Championship, second-from-bottom and relegated by one point, after the 12-point deduction kicked in.
Here’s a run-down of the principal players to have left the DW Stadium over the last month or so:
1 David Marshall: Scottish international keeper (33 caps) signed a two-year deal at Derby.
2 Nathan Bryne: This right-back is another to recently sign a two-year deal with Derby, for an undisclosed fee.
3 Antonee Robinson: Fulham paid £2million to secure the left-back on a four-year deal. The ex-Everton defender has played seven times for the United States.
4 Chey Dunkley: Having played 115 games for Wigan, he moved to Sheffield Wednesday.
5 Josh Windass: the attacking midfielder spent the second half of last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, and has made that move a permanent one.
6 Jamal Lowe: Highly-rated winger, who scored six goals in 48 outings for Wigan last year, is now on the books of Swansea City after a £800,000 move.
7 Kieffer Moore: this attacker, who made 11 appearances as a substitute for Ipswich Town in 2017, signed for Cardiff City for an undisclosed fee having scored 10 goals in 36 games last term.
8 Joe Williams: Another to leave on an undisclosed fee, this midfielder has gone to Bristol City.
9 Cedric Kipre: Ivory Coast defender signed for West Brom on a four-year deal last week.
9 Sam Morsy: The Egypt international yesterday signed for Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough.
The Latics will therefore have a team comprising mainly Academy graduates with a few new short-term arrivals.
Among those to sign on short-term deals are ex-Birmingham winger Viv Solomon-Otabor, who was most recently playing in Bulgaria, and midfielder Dan Gardner, formerly of Oldham.
Veteran Gary Roberts, now 36, has also been re-signed to at least guarantee that little bit of experience. Roberts played 54 league games for Ipswich between 2006 and ‘08, and has been at Wigan since 2017.
Yesterday afternoon, ex-Brentford right-back Josh Clarke put pen to paper, also on a short deal.