Wigan Athletic quick review - season 2012/2013
Wigan Athletic Football Club is an English professional football club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester. Since 2005, the club has competed in the Premier League, the highest tier of English football. Their current spell in the Premier League is the only top flight run in the club's history. They have played at the DW Stadium since 1999, sharing the stadium with rugby league club Wigan Warriors. They previously played at Springfield Park for 67 years. The club's nickname is Latics, derived from a contraction of the word "Athletic". As of the 2012–13 season, Wigan Athletic are the youngest club in the Premier League, having only been formed in 1932.
Wigan's longest and recently forgotten rivalry was with Lancashire based club Chorley F.C., a game in which they would play half a dozen times a season and became main rivals before Wigan entered the football league in 1978. The two haven't played since then. Since Wigan's admission to the Football League in 1978, the club has built up several rivalries, mainly with Bolton Wanderers, the club's main derby match. They also have lesser rivalries with Preston North End, Oldham Athletic, Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers. There is also a long standing issue with Wigan Rugby League which predates the club. This has heightened since Latics admission to the Football League and increasingly so after the mid 1980s when then Wigan RL director Maurice Lindsay made derogatory comments about the club. Latics owner, Dave Whelan, made attempts to unite the fans when the JJB Stadium (now DW Stadium) opened in 1999, but in retrospect polarised the fans even further.
Wigan Athletic's stadium is the 25,138 capacity DW Stadium, part of the Robin Park complex in Wigan. It has been the club's home since the 1999–2000 season. Wigan Athletic share the stadium with rugby league team Wigan Warriors, The ground cost £30 million to construct. Previously, home games were played at Springfield Park, the former home of Wigan Borough. Springfield Park was demolished in June 1999; it is now the site of a housing development. The record attendance at the DW Stadium (then known as JJB Stadium) for Wigan Athletic is 25,133 for a match against Manchester United on 11 May 2008.
The JJB Stadium was the fourth attempt at re-development/re-location for Wigan Athletic, the first coming in 1986 when then-chairman Bill Kenyon revealed plans for a 15,000 all-seater development at Springfield Park including a hotel and shopping facilities. The club were to play at the nearby Woodhouse Stadium (formerly Wigan Municipal Stadium – now demolished) while the building work took place. In 1990, Kenyon submitted his second scheme which would cost £3m, hold 12–15,000 fans and involve moving the pitch nearer to the car park. Neither efforts got past the planning stage. The next chairman, Stephen Gage, spent most of 1993 and 1994 trying to relocate the Latics to the then Robin Park Stadium (now demolished) until his plans were scuppered by Wigan Council when the local authority announced plans for their own ground involving Wigan Warriors. Mr Gage finally admitted defeat when he sold the Latics to Dave Whelan on 27 February 1995 for around £1m.
Plans for the JJB Stadium were first published in 1997. Contracts for the new stadium were signed in late 1997 and work began immediately. Originally the ground was to be built for both Wigan and Orrell R.U.F.C., as grants were only available for multi-use stadia at that time. Wigan Warriors did not figure in the equation until Dave Whelan bought the rugby club some 12 months later after protracted negotiations with the directors of the rugby club. The modern all-seater stadium was officially opened on 4 August 1999. Its inauguration was marked with a friendly between Wigan and neighbours Manchester United, who were then reigning European Champions, with Alex Ferguson officially opening the stadium. However, Wigan hosted Morecambe three days earlier on 1 August as a dress rehearsal for the official opening against Manchester United. 4,020 supporters braved a fierce electrical storm and torrential rain but the game ended in a goalless draw. The first competitive football match took place on 7 August 1999, with Wigan Athletic facing Scunthorpe United in a Division 2 match. Simon Haworth scored twice, including the first competitive goal at the new stadium, as Athletic won 3–0.
On 7 March 2005 Greater Manchester police announced that they would stop policing Wigan Athletic matches at the stadium from 2 April. This move later, Wigan, facing the prospect of playing their home games in the Premier League in an empty stadium, paid the money they owed to the police. The club appealed against the payments in court and won, with the claims expected to earn the club around £37,000.
On 25 March 2009 it was announced that Wigan would change the name of their stadium to The DW Stadium, after chairman Dave Whelan's commercial venture, DW Sports Fitness.
12/13 Wigan Athletic Home Shirt
12/13 Wigan Athletic Away Shirt
Wigan Athletic 12/13 team squad