“This year gives us our best opportunity to get back into the Premier League. Financially we have an advantage over the other clubs because it is a significant amount of money. We want to get back first time for a number of reasons. But financially it makes sense.”
Chief Executive Jonathan Jackson has got the media communicating by speaking good common sense.
He is correct. No better time to get back up than when Latics have an advantage over the majority of the teams in the division through parachute payments that are reported to be worth £16 million.
Up to this point Owen Coyle has made financially shrewd movements in the transfer market, signing seven players for no more than the price of Arouna Kone’s transfer fee to Everton. Moreover James McCarthy is 99% certain to leave and Latics will be hoping for a bidding war for a complete midfield player who will make it at the highest level. It could be good business.
The likelihood therefore is that Latics will make a healthy profit on their transfer dealings. Together with the parachute payment it should leave them in good financial shape over the next year.
Over the past eight years the revenue gained through gate money was dwarfed by the income received through television rights. The loss of that huge amount of television money from the Premier League is going to leave a hole in the finances. However, the total spent on players’ salaries will be reduced compared with last year, despite needing to have a bigger squad.
Through winning the FA Cup, Latics qualified for the group stage of the Europa League, from which they can expect to receive well over £1 million from UEFA , even if they do not go further.
Having won the FA Cup and spent eight years in the Premier League has unquestionably changed the way outsiders look at Wigan Athletic. As we have seen over the last couple of weeks players are now much more likely to come to come to Wigan. Playing in the Europa League is going to be another giant step forward. The FA Cup success put Latics on the world map and Europa League participation is going to take things further.
Coyle’s activity in the transfer market is likely to be curtailed by the pre-season trip to the United States. Reports have suggested he has been trying to sign Ghana winger Albert Adomah from Bristol City as well as Zambian striker Jacob Mulenga from FC Utrecht. He will also be looking for players on loan, but such business is likely to be done after the big clubs make their overseas tours.
The centre of defence is an area in which Coyle is likely to seek an important new signing. Gary Caldwell and Ivan Ramis would make an excellent partnership if both were fit, but it is doubtful both will be ready for the start of the season. Thomas Rogne is promising, but short of experience. Coyle has the option of switching Emmerson Boyce to centre back, but he will almost certainly be looking for an experienced central defender to supplement what he already has.
Coyle has already put together the nucleus of a squad ready to challenge for promotion. He has done it without spending a lot of money so far. Having at least 6 games to play in the Europa League plus 46 to play in the Championship – compared with 38 in the Premier League – means that he is going to need a big squad. A few more players will be coming in before the transfer window closes.
Jonathan Jackson is right in saying that the coming season represents the best opportunity for Latics to get back into the Premier League. However, with so many new players and the Europa League on top of that, it is a tall order. Tough, but not impossible.
Whatever happens, Wigan Athletic will be in good financial shape. If they don’t make it this year there will be enough of a fiscal base to ensure that they will continue to have the advantage over most clubs in the following year.
Despite relegation, the future is looking bright for Wigan Athletic.