Date:Monday June 15 2009
Roberto Martinez has finally been confirmed as Wigan Athletic's new manager today after a long on-going saga regarding compensation fees.
The Spaniard was expected to join the Latics at the beginning of the month but his move was delayed about 3 or 4 times. There was confusion over the backroom staff, Martinez wanted to take all 4 members with him to the JJB Stadium, but the 2 clubs failed to reach an agreement over extra fees for assistant manager Graeme Jones and chief scout Kevin Reeves. A compensation package has now been settled with the two parties, and Martinez will be pleased to know he'll be joined with Graeme Jones, Kevin Reeves, Inaka Bergara and Oscar Brau.
After it was announced that Martinez had agreed to move in the early part of June, Whelan expected to confirm his appointment officially within 48 hours, then it was delayed over the weekend until Monday, then on Monday a press conference was arranged on Wednesday. The press conference was a farce, and made Wigan Athletic look like amateurs. There was an empty chair where Martinez was missing, and chief executive Brenda Spencer could only offer the media tea and biscuits as they waited further news, rather than the eagerly anticipated unvieling of Roberto Martinez. Thursday, she said, something might be sorted, no, still nothing and now finally, the following week the deal has been done at last.
Swansea City fans have been left angered and frustrated by Martinez's decision to leave, after saying that he'd have to be forced out to leave the club - like he was as a player. He seemed to have a close bond with the Swans, he spoke highly of his respect and love for the club and criticised those players who didn't want to play for us - Andy Robinson, Lee Trundle and Paul Anderson. As well as that, he hasn't said a word on the whole matter. He hasn't explained to us fans why he has left and why he has abandoned those long-term plans he set out with us.
Not only will we lose our best and most successful manager since John Toshack, but important managerial staff and potentially some of our best players. Angel Rangel and Ferrie Bodde could be targets for Martinez at Wigan.
The fans also think he hasn't repaid us for giving him his big chance in football management, Huw Jenkins took a chance on Roberto while he was still playing at Chester, and what a gamble it proved to be.
Promotion was achieved in his first season in charge by winning the League One Championship, playing a unique, free-flowing style of football that's rare to see in the British game.
The following year the target in the Championship was simply to avoid relegation, we did that with ease, finishing 8th - a remarkable achievement considering the money we spent in contrast to our other promotion rivals.
Things couldn't really be better as the season ended, but all of a sudden Steve Bruce left Wigan to enjoy a much bigger transfer kitty at Sunderland and the Latics were looking for his replacement. Celtic looked to be clear favourites to land the Spaniard following the resignation of Gordon Strachan and they made an official approach to ask for permission to speak to Roberto. Wigan then followed and showed their interest, and Martinez pretty much made up his mind straight away by returning to the first British club he played for.
Huw Jenkins tried to force him to stay by offering him double his current wage, but his mind seemed set on a move up North.
Swansea City will receive less than £2million in compensation for Martinez - a small price for someone as priceless as he proved to be during his 2-year spell.
The on-going saga and his delayed move hasn't helped anyone, certainly not us as we want to replace Martinez as quickly as possible so we can prepare for the new season. However, Huw Jenkins wasn't going to allow his contracted staff to leave for nothing, and rightfully so as he stood firm regarding Kevin Reeves and Graeme Jones. Wigan chairman, Dave Whelan didn't care about the backroom staff, and was only concerned about getting Martinez's signature. All 5 join the Premiership club and at long last we can push on with our task of bringing in a new managerial team.
Date:Monday June 15 2009
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