Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Martinez shows that there is loyalty in football

Loyal to each other

Anyone who thinks there is no loyalty in football need look no further than Wigan manager Roberto Martinez. To be offered the chance of going to Aston Villa, a bigger club with more money and real prospects of European football would surely have turned the heads of most.


After a season of struggle that only ended in safety on the final day, you could have excused Martinez for moving on to a side whereby a relegation struggle is unlikely. Despite that, he has decided to stay where he is and repay the faith that his chairman Dave Whelan has shown in him over the past two seasons that have contained far more downs than ups.

It was a poorly kept secret that Martinez was the number one choice of Villa and although Whelan had said publicly that he didn’t expect his manager to leave, I think most people expected Martinez to be unveiled as the new man at Villa Park.


A statement Villa simply said,

“Roberto met with his chairman earlier this week and has made the decision to honour his commitment to Wigan. Therefore, we have not met Roberto and we have not had the chance to discuss the vacant managerial role with him.”

Dave Whelan was absolutely delighted with the news once his confidence was proved to be right.


“Money is not what this is about. Villa will be disappointed but I am over the moon. I am sure every Wigan supporter will say that we are so pleased to have him. He is such a straight guy and so easy to deal with. I don’t think we were really close to losing him but he has to consider his future. He is going places and Aston Villa are a big club. I am delighted he is staying with us. Supporters will look at this and think Roberto is showing that football is not about greed. There’s a loyalty in it and he has been loyal.”

Martinez said that loyalty played a large part in his decision.

“Over the last two years the chairman has been very supportive to me and loyal, and now I feel I need to be loyal and supportive back to him. I haven’t finished my job at Wigan Athletic. There is much work still to be done, I don’t know how long that will take but such is the belief that I have always had that I would only ever decide to move once the club is ready for a new manager.”

It is reported that Martinez will sign a new and improved three year contract with Wigan.

It is a story to help you to keep your faith in the game.


Graham Fisher



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