Transfer deadline day left Wigan Athletic fans hugely disappointed when their talisman striker Will Grigg was sold to Sunderland for a fee in the region of £4m.
It was surely Latics’ worst decision of recent times that they allowed their top striker to leave without a suitable replacement.
Grigg was the fans’ favourite and has been Latics’ most prolific goalscorer in recent times with 65 goals in 150 appearances. He helped the club to two promotions from League One and a famous FA Cup run last season when he scored seven goals including a match winning strike against Premier League Champions Manchester City.
The rumours that Paul Cook and the board wanted to move Grigg on have unfortunately proved to be accurate.
Cook’s reluctance to play the Irishman have resulted in the use of long ball tactics and it looks as though this approach will now continue with the signing of big target man Leon Clarke.
Clarke has been recruited on loan from Sheffield United until the end of the season despite only scoring one goal during his previous loan spell in the 2014/15 season which ended in Latics’ relegation.
Cook and the new owners the International Entertainment Corporation (IEC) are likely to face a considerable backlash from the fans’ for allowing Grigg to leave at this crucial stage in the season.
Manager Cook and Directors Darren and Joe Royle have demonstrated poor judgement and a lack of ambition. Loan players and free transfers are unlikely to advance Latics’ cause and the prospect of another relegation back to League One could now be on the cards.
It will be interesting to see if the Fans Forum scheduled for next Wednesday goes ahead and if so what the supporters reaction will be. Presumably the club will be offering replacement shirts to everyone who bought a Will Grigg shirt?
The new board has not made an auspicious start to their tenure with their limited investment and allowing the fans’ favourite to leave. It it now likely that attendances will be affected with the club perilously close to the Championship relegation zone.
It is hard not to consider the transfer of Grigg as an act of self-harm by the club and that there will be an inevitable backlash from the fanbase.