Wigan Athletic chairman David Sharpe has told fans that success will return to the club, despite their relegation to League One being confirmed on Tuesday night.
Rotherham’s 2-1 victory over Reading means that the Latics will be playing third tier football next season.
It will be the first time the club has played below the top two divisions since 2003 and comes barely two years after they defied the odds to beat Manchester City and clinch the FA Cup.
Yet Sharpe, who is the grandson of owner and former chairman Dave Whelan, chose to look for the positives. “Football is full of examples of clubs who have come back stronger after relegation,” he told Wigan’s official website.
“It’s a sad day for everyone associated with Wigan Athletic but we will bounce back, I want that to be the main message to our fans tonight.”
Sharpe called on the spirit that characterised years of overachievement in the Premier League, culminating in their FA Cup triumph in 2013.
“At Wigan Athletic we believe. So let’s dust ourselves down and be ready for the challenge of getting this club promoted at the first attempt.”
Wigan Athletic fans will certainly hope Sharpe’s words are more than just fighting talk. A successful 2015/16 for the club would help banish the memories of a campaign that has been memorable for all the wrong reasons.