Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Premier Paradox

     A tale made for Hollywood. The ultimate Cinderella story. From rags to riches. Call it what you want, but the story behind Wigan Athletic F.C. is most certainly unorthodox. They reached the F.A. Cup Final for the first time in franchise history and upended Manchester City 1-0 in the Final. Three days later, they lost to Arsenal 4-1 and became the first team in the Barclay's Premier League to win the F.A. Cup and be relegated in the same season. The 9-20 European football club spent eight years at the bottom of the Premier League.
     What's more is that on December 31, 2012, the club reported a net profit of 4.3 million Euros, the first time the club's earned a profit in six years. The biggest expense came from wages, which fell from 39.9 million Euros to 37.7 million Euros. This accompanied the club's increased turnover from 50.5 million Euros to 52.6 Million Euros.
     Wigan Athletic F.C. was founded in 1932, yet has seen very little prosperity and success in the European leagues. Their highest league position in the Premier League was 10th in 2006 and they only made the League Cup finals once, losing 4-0 to Manchester United. Could the F.A. Cup victory be a good omen for Wigan? Well, manager Roberto Martinez has them going in the right direction. They also beat Chelsea on September 29, 2009 by a score of 3-1. Captain Gary Caldwell has six goals in his third year with Wigan Athletic as well, so there seems to be a lot of promise for the club in terms of leadership. If you're a European football (or soccer if you're American) fan, you might want to keep a close eye on Wigan.

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