The news all Wigan fans were dreading has arrived this morning.
Roberto Martinez has left.
Wigan Athletic’s eight year stay in the EPL ended just a few weeks ago and despite winning the FA Cup in heroic fashion against Manchester City, Martinez has finally resigned from his position at the DW Stadium.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has been told the bad news by Martinez earlier this morning.
Martinez offered his resignation and Wigan have accepted it. Whelan spoke to the BBC just a few minutes ago.
He wanted permission to move so I’ve given that. He has 12 months left on his contract, so whoever comes in for him must pay the remainder of his contract. He feels he’s not the man to lead us back into the Premier League. I’ve got to accept what he feels. Roberto loves Wigan and the fans. We have to move on now and want applications for the job.
So what do Wigan do now?
Whelan has reluctantly accepted Martinez’ resignation. But will be pretty stubborn when it comes to another club trying to haggle with the fee for his services.
That said, Whelan has won many friends in the game for doing things the right way, and when you think about the relative success Martinez has brought to Wigan not only as a player but back in his playing days, Wigan need to cut the cord and let the prodigal son move on. Quickly.
(More: Martinez further delays decision on future)
Martinez’ likely destination is Everton. His attractive style of play and ability to pick out gems in the transfer market make him very attractive for the Goodison Park outfit. Plus his wage demands won’t be astronomical.
Expect Martinez to be unveiled as the new manager at Everton very shortly.
But who would be a good choice for the new manager at Wigan? There are plenty of people who will want the position. Start applying now.
A great young squad of talented players, a well run and financial stable club, a side that will play in the Europa League next season and the chance to work alongside chairman Dave Whelan are all plus points.
(More: Should Martinez leave Wigan?)
But in a town where Rugby League is the main sport and soccer is still second fiddle, despite the FA Cup win and all the EPL razzmatazz, can crowd numbers stay high if the team begins to struggle in the Championship?
Things could go downhill very quickly after Martinez’ departure.
Mr. Whelan got Martinez’ appointment spot on in the past. Now, this choice is even bigger as he aims to get Wigan back in the Premier League at the first-time of asking.