Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has spoken about the clubs finances following the audit report this week that revealed an operating loss of £4 million, with the auditors suggesting that the club could go under without his financial backing, Whelan says that he will ensure that the Latics will survive.
At 74 Whelan realises that he won`t be around forever to keep the club afloat, speaking to ESPN, he says that he will pass the club on but only to the right person.
Whelan states that he loves football and he loves the Latics and that`s why he will keep funding the club up as long as possible.
Whelan said: “There are no worries about the club surviving while I’m around’
‘The trouble is I might not be around for much longer, as I’m pushing 75. If it means being around to prop up the club for the next three to five years, then so be it, but I am looking to pass the club on.
‘When I say pass it on, I mean give it away, yes. But I will only give it away to the right person. I remember when Sir Jack Hayward gave away his beloved Wolves for £50, and I will do the same with Wigan, but the right person would have to love this club and keep it going and show me that he can do that.
‘As it stands, there is no danger to this club, I’ll see to that, but we cannot post losses – it has to run on business lines, it has to live within its means. The bottom line though is that, while I cannot go on forever, there is no chance of this club being sold to just anybody. It will have to be the right person for the right reasons.
‘The accounts say that I am propping up the club personally and they are probably right! Why do I continue to do this? Well, I love football, and I love this club.
‘I earned my first pound note playing football, and I owe it to football to keep Wigan alive.’
Whatever league Wigan are in next season, Whelan’s reign can only be regarded as a major success, promotion to the Premier League seemed an impossible dream when he took over in 1995. A long stay in the Prem and a 25,000 capacity seater seemed like a fantasy scenario back then.
Whelan has sometimes been criticised by the fans for his motives, but Wiganers cannot deny that he massively contributed to the Wigan Athletic success story. When he leaves the club he will have left the club with a great legacy and the fans should thank him for that.