Vital Wigan member Shaun Farrell better known to Wigan Athletic fans as Fazman is writing a series of articles looking back at the 2009/10 season, here is the first one, over to you Faz:
At the start of this season Big DW would have sat down with Roberto and set down the targets for the season and Roberto would have told Whelan what he expected in return.
I then presume the seat was filled over the course of day by Brenda (no her target wasn`t to see how many times she could offer cuppas to the press), John Benson, Graham Barrow, and Stuart Hayton for the commercial team. The overriding target though would of course be to retain Premier League football both on and off the pitch. This we achieved on the pitch but maybe we should take a closer look at what targets would have been put in place and achieved.
This of course is all just speculation as unless Latham has knocked one up in CDT we don`t have a bug in Dave`s office nor do we have a mind reading device??yet!
As before the main target would have been make sure the club is playing in the Premier League next season and as such we have provided this with 2 games in hand which although it`s been a hard season this has to be commended as it means plans for next season can start earlier.
I`m also sure a secondary target would have been to reduce the wage bill at the club.
In the summer we lost Valencia along with the release of high earners Camara and Sibierski before Bobby came in but then shockingly we followed that with Lee Cattermole leaving followed quickly by Michael Brown both decent wage earners.
We then lost one of our highest wage earners and worst players in Marlon King in the October leaving us to struggle through to January with 2 strikers and Krapo.
I honestly believed that would be enough of the wage bill cut seeing as we brought in relatively low wage earners in Gomez, Scotland, Thomas, Sinclair, Diame, Amaya and McCarthy, which meant 7 in and 6 out with the wages of the players coming in being nowhere near the wages being freed by the players going out.
However we had different ideas and since the summer have lost Edman on a free and loaned out Watson for most of the season to cover his wages along with higher earners Kapo, De Ridder and Cho, whilst the last few months have seen Rachid go out on loan as well. It`s just a pity that we haven`t managed to get someone to pay Jason`s wage. Otherwise you`ve got to say that even with the players coming in we should see a major drop in wages.
Another target Whelan would have given Roberto would have been to get a minimum of 2 players up to a level of good transfer value arguably he has done this with Zoggy and Rodders. This time last year I would have been surprised to see a top 4 team chasing these two but thanks to Roberto`s management they have shone. That`s yet another tick for Bobby.
Playing in a FA cup final I think Whelan would love nothing more than a cup run if not a final but our cup exploits have been poor this year and this is a big fail in Whelan`s eyes as not only does it look good it brings in extra revenue. I also think our league position won`t sit well in what was expected of Roberto.
As for the other way round I`m sure Roberto would have asked Whelan for:
Backing in the transfer market. Well that`s a fail.
Keeping the club stable and away from administration. Pass.
Backing for the management team. Pass.
When Bobby came in he wanted to bring in some different ideas and I`m sure these would have been run past Whelan at this point including:
Floodlights at the training ground for night match training. Fail but not Dave`s fault the council turned it down.
Updating of the training facilities. 50/50, he got new signs after all and seeing as we only lease Christopher Park what`s the point in spending a fortune for the council to take it back.
So overall both Whelan and Bobby have had a mixed bag.
Obviously at the start of the year she would have been asked to make sure everything was kept ship shape so the Premier League couldn`t take points and bar the Martinez saga you`ve got to say she`s done it!
I`m pretty sure that his main target for the year would be to find 1 or 2 gems to bring to the club to then sell on keeping the club profitable. Now arguably we have found a few gems this year, yet none seem to be from Bennos files. Saying that though if it`s true that we have signed Rojas from Honduras (which it shows on fifa.com that he is on loan to Olimpia from us), then you can expect this to continue into the new season.
I`ll look at his role in more depth with the Youth section of my look back but I would have expected to see his targets as being keep the youth team improving and get 2/3 players on the verge of the first team squad whilst attracting some good young talent.
This is a area I don`t think we do enough in however it`s also a area that people like Baskers who watches the reserves would be able to discuss better. I would expect next year to see more of our youth players around the first team picture yet the comments recently from Bobby and the loan of Cywka doesn`t look like the confidence is there.
Now up to here I would argue that given the targets we have done reasonably well as a team however I don`t feel the next section have done well at all.
The Commercial Team:
Now we all knew that this year was going to be very difficult for the commercial team. Whether you admit it or not Wigan is a dying town, there seems to be less and less jobs around, more and more on the scrounge and not wanting to work and as a result of the previous 2 less and less money. I`m also sure Whelan would have expected a dip so as such I think his targets for them would have been:
Increase in commercial sales
No drop in crowd sizes for home fans
Less than 10% drop in match day hospitality
Increased season ticket sales
Plus 100% allocation of sponsorship
We all know my thoughts on most of these and I do understand it has been a hard year but I just don`t think that the Commercial team listen to the fans enough or know what goes on around Wigan. For instance season tickets aren`t attractive to people working shifts when our games are being moved to midweek more and more. Whilst I would fail the commercial team on its targets I will say that they have redeemed themselves in Communication and in that it has been a hard year yet they managed to strike a great deal with Vandanel whilst it lasted!
So that`s the overall expectations as a club but not us the fans as they can be so varied. Therefore I ask you what was your expectations and how did we compare with them?
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