Grigg goes and it hurts, but business is business.
Will Griggs move to Sunderland in the final moments of the transfer window has highlighted exactly where we are as a club and should be a wake-up call to all those fans who think we should be competing at the top end of the table and splashing the cash on big name players and managers.
The £3m possibly rising to £4m fee is something that the club just couldn’t turn down and after releasing the accounts this week to the shareholders ahead of the upcoming AGM, the facts are there for all to see that we are a club with very little financial clout. In fact, the money we have just got for Grigg is more than we brought in via ticket sales in the whole of the 2017-2018 season and half of our entire income. If it rises to £4m then it will be only be £100,000 less than we made in ticket sales, sponsorship and prize money combined. We simply CANNOT turn this type of money down when we operate on losses of around £9m. There is no magic money tree at the end of the training ground, we bought it from Bolton don’t forget.
Obviously as fans we are all disappointed to lose Grigg who is arguably one of the best players we have, although debate will always rage about whether he can make it at this level, but we always have been and always will be a “selling club” unless we are bought by some billionaire who is prepared to put their own cash into the club. Dave Whelan put plenty of his own cash in to get us to the Premier League and it was only circa 2008 that he started to stop that when it became obvious that we could no longer sustain the losses that we were operating under without seriously threatening the future of the club. Players would come in on small fees and would be sold on for profit. Well Will Grigg was signed for £1m, helped us to two promotions as Champions and has been sold for at least a 200% profit. Not to mention a certain goal on February 19th 2018. I think we got our monies worth don’t you?
When Dave Whelan sold the club he said he was selling it to someone that would continue to protect the future of the club and by not spending big lumps of cash that we clearly don’t have, IEC look set to do that. I think that some of our fans have gotten slightly carried away by the takeover and “Chinese investment” and are expecting us to be the new Man City throwing millions and millions around at players. It would be great if that was the case, but as I said above unless the owners are willing to use their own cash that just isn’t going to happen. The owner of IEC may well be pretty wealthy, but the actual company itself is far from it and to try and bankroll a promotion bid could very well threaten the entire business. Whilst I don’t care about IEC I do care about Wigan Athletic Football Club, and it seems as though IEC are willing to protect the club as opposed to sending us down a similar path to that of our nearest and dearest from Horwich and we should be grateful for that even if we don’t feel it right now.