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Would you trade a historic FA Cup win & Europe for the Championship or Premier League now?

by | Nov 24, 2020 | News

Supporters Club News

Update for Supporters – 22 Jan 2021

After the release of the latest administrators’ progress report earlier this week, the administrators’ fee estimates have been widely reported and challenged over social and mainstream media.

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Way back when

Back when we started the 2013-14 Championship campaign, Wigan Athletic fans had experienced the whole gamut of emotions just a few months earlier. Arguably, there are no deeper sensations of joy and pain that any football supporter could experience in just one season.

Following the pain of relegation at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, confidence was high that Wigan could bounce immediately back up to the Premier League. That’s the same kind of situation facing Norwich City, Bournemouth, and Watford, with the latest Championship odds pricing them as favourites for promotion.

However, there was an entirely different set of circumstances that surrounded Wigan Athletic. For the first time in English football history, Latics had become the only club ever to be relegated from the top-flight and win the FA Cup, in the same season. Accompanying the pain of relegation had been the greatest moment in the club’s history.

Adding to the epic nature of our journey in the FA Cup during the 2012-13 campaign, Wigan also beat Manchester City (arguably the best team in Europe at the time) on that momentous day on 11th May 2013 at Wembley, denying their opponent the chance to win a historic domestic treble. It’s the kind of stuff that even the most creative mind of a fantasy fiction writer couldn’t have imagined. While the famous old FA Cup trophy was proudly displayed in the trophy cabinet, neither the fans nor the club itself perhaps realised how much it might complicate their lives. Although it was a welcome problem, as English cup winners, Latics had also qualified for the Europa League, which inevitably made the 2013-14 fixture list even more convoluted. For the older generations of supporters who had faithfully attended games at Springfield Park, watching their team play in Europe was the impossible dream. Unfortunately, aside from the sense of occasion surrounding each game at the DW Stadium, the continental adventure would inevitably have some important drawbacks.      

Wigan had made a reasonable start to their 2013-14 Championship campaign, suffering just the one defeat against Bournemouth in their opening five games. When the focus turned towards the European games, domestic form inevitably became inconsistent as the fixtures on all fronts came thick and fast.

By the end of October 2013, Wigan had held Zulte Waregem, beaten NK Maribor, and held group favourites Rubin Kazan. The start of November also looked healthy in the Championship, with back-to-back victories against Huddersfield Town and Yeovil Town. However, that’s when everything also fell apart.

In the midst of a slump in the Championship that would bring four straight defeats, and two defeats that made reaching the Europa League knockout stage a tall order, Owen Coyle was fired as manager. Uwe Rosler brought a rapid improvement in league form, yet he couldn’t prevent Wigan being eliminated from the Europa League.    


Into 2014 and with Europe no longer a distraction, between early December 2013 and late March in 2014, Rosler led Wigan on a spectacular run of just three league defeats in 18 games. That said, another distraction had emerged and once again it was the FA Cup. Latics made it to the semi-finals, beating Manchester City again along the way, before losing on penalties to Arsenal.

Sadly, another slump in form saw the team win just three of their final 10 games in the Championship. It was enough to hold on to their spot in the playoffs, but they were horribly out of form when they were beaten by Queens Park Rangers, ending the quest for a quick return to the Premier League. Since then, we all know how the story of Wigan Athletic has unfolded.

It’s often said that football is all about moments. It’s also fair to say that while a generation of Wigan fans were able to enjoy plenty of great moments, “at what cost?” is a question you may sometimes hear pondered. Those who were there to live those moments will undoubtedly relish them for the rest of our lives, remaining steadfastly hopeful that one day, we’ll get to experience them again.

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