With news that Dave Whelan is in talks to sell the club to a Chinese-led consortium, we’re wondering what this will mean for the club, the players and of course, the fans. Can we expect a massive investment in the club? Or will we become another Cardiff or Hull?
Since Whelan got involved with the club back in 1995, it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Promotions, relegations, cup finals and more than a few controversies thrown in for good measure, the life of a Latics fan is nothing if not interesting. But as much as we have to thank Whelan for his contribution to the club, he’s obviously lost interest, and there’s nothing worse than an owner who isn’t really bothered about the club.
So, should we be happy about a Chinese consortium buying the club? Well, that’s a tough one. There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of money coming out of Asia right now, but unlike their Middle Eastern counterparts, Chinese investors seem to be somewhat reticent to part with funds. In other words, they don’t really splash the cash quite so much.
We’re sure that there will be none of the agro that there was with the Cardiff’s owner wanting to change the team colours or the Hull’s owner wanting to change the club’s name. But there is a worry that the investors might not understand the cultural aspects of a club that is so important to the local community. I’m sure the Cardiff fans never expected a change of team colours, so we’ll have to wait and see what transpires.
As for the actual running of the club, the fact is that we’re in a pretty good place as it is. We’re playing well on the pitch, and financially everything seems to be in order. It would be pretty hard to come in and screw things up, and these investors didn’t make all their money by fixing things that aren’t broken.
No, it would seem more likely that we’ll see a bit of backing in the transfer window as we expect that these investors have their eye on the ultimate prize: The Premier League. We’ve been there and done that (and did it rather well incidentally), so in all likelihood, this and our stadium are what makes us a more attractive option than other clubs in League One.
BetStars has Morsy’s Egypt to lift the World Cup at 150/1, but we wonder what odds they’d give us to go straight up after the takeover. In fairness, we’re looking good at the minute and with some solid investment, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we could see ourselves back in the Premier League sooner rather than later. A club on the rise with a decent stadium and a passionate following seems like the recipe for a perfect takeover.
What is confusing, though, is the apparent size of the bid. The £15 million that is being talked about as the initial formal bid seems like a bit of a steal if not an insult. Considering that Whelan put in a fair chunk of the £30 million it took to build the stadium, we can’t imagine that he’ll accept the bid, but then again, it all depends on how much he wants out of the club. Whatever happens with this bid though, it’s apparent that we’re in a period of transition. Even if this bid fails to go through, the club is now up for sale, and it’s only a matter of time before someone comes in with the right offer.
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