A former Wigan Athletic boss is said to be ‘interested’ in a return to the DW Stadium, following the sad departure of Paul Cook.
Cook’s long-time assistant Leam Richardson is in temporary charge, having remained at the Latics since the resignation last weekend.
He’ll be taking the squad’s training sessions when that returns from the players having their deserved break just two weeks after the season came to a close.
Wigan won 10 of their last 18 games in 2019-20m but ended up relegated on the 22nd of July after being handed a 12-point deduction for entering administration – a sanction that the club appealed against, then was turned down.
Richardson is yet to confirm his future plans, however is widely expected to follow Cook into his next job, wherever that should be.
Obviously the club’s new owners would have their own ideas about a new man – but that process is showing no signs of coming to a swift conclusion.
According to reports, that man wanting to takeover is Gary Caldwell, who is believed to be very interested in coming back to help the club in League One.
— Paul Kendrick (@PKendrickWIG) August 7, 2020
The Scot was a captain for the Latics in the Premier League years before guiding them to the League One title back in the 2015/16 season as their manager.
He was given the sack weeks into the club’s Championship campaign – and then former chairman David Sharpe admitted not giving Caldwell longer was his biggest regret.
Caldwell has gone on to manage other clubs, though they were unsuccessful spells with Chesterfield and Partick Thistle.
However he’s available and things are getting desperate at the Wigan, and he feels he is the man to steady the ship and to put things right again, especially after his achievements with the Greater Manchester club.
There is another former Latics played linked with the job, and that is Graeme Jones, as revealed by Wigan Today earlier in the week.
The 50-year-old, who was a player and later as Roberto Martinez’s assistant, is out of work after he left Luton in April.
Manager Graeme Jones has left Sky Bet Championship side Luton by mutual consent.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 24, 2020
He has always expressed of his ‘love’ for the town and club – and his desire to one day return as manager, maybe this is the perfect opportunity?
Paul Cook was appointed in 2017 and led the Latics to promotion back to the Championship in his first season.
Despite a poor start to the 2019-20 campaign, Cook took the Latics away from the drop zone and they would have finished 13th but for their penalty.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to leave Wigan Athletic,” Cook said in a message to the club’s players, staff and supporters.
“I would like to thank David Sharpe, the Whelan family and Jonathan Jackson for giving me the opportunity to manage such a great club three years ago.
“I have been immensely proud to have continued my long affiliation with Wigan Athletic over the past three years and I have worked hard to represent the club to the best of my ability, to develop individuals and also create a team and a work ethic which the town can be proud of.
“I have enjoyed some amazing moments with you during that time that will live long in the memory.
“It is well publicised that the club is going through an incredibly challenging period and, of course, we are all hoping a positive outcome can be found so this football club can write its next chapter under new ownership.
“That has to be the main priority for everyone involved and I know the administrators are working hard to ensure the club can get through these difficult times and find new owners.”
Cook saw memorable FA Cup wins over Premier League sides Bournemouth, Manchester City and West Ham, and twice broke the club’s record for biggest league victory – a 7-0 victory over Oxford United back in December 2017 and that astonishing 8-0 against Hull last month.
“I want to thank every player for their efforts, hard work and commitment during my three years as manager,” Cook said.
“I would like to thank my assistant Leam Richardson and as a collective I thank all of my support staff and the staff behind the scenes who are so pivotal to the football club.
“We must also not forget the 75 people who unfortunately lost their jobs a few weeks ago and I hope for those people that the club can find a positive solution and move forwards in the near future.
“To the supporters, who are the most important part of this club’s present and future, I would like to thank you all for your support over the last three years.
“More than ever, I have been overwhelmed by your support to myself, the players and the staff over the past few weeks.
“Whoever leads this club in the future will be welcomed by a fantastic group of supporters.”
Paul Stanley, on behalf of the joint administrators, said: “Throughout the past few weeks Paul has been an admirable leader for the football club.
“We have been inspired by the way he has worked with his staff and the players to produce an incredible run of results and performances.
“We have had an open and transparent relationship with Paul during our few weeks of involvement with Wigan Athletic and we have appreciated his integrity from day one.
“On that basis, we felt it was important we allowed Paul to leave his role as manager. We wish him well in his future career and would like to place on record our thanks to him for his support during this challenging period.”
Fans reacted after learning that a former Wigan boss is ‘interested’ in a return to the DW Stadium…
Prefer Jones than him. But don’t mind he to play a role like Spoets director or consultant as he bought some really good players for us when we in L1
— Gallen Leung (@GallenLeung) August 7, 2020
Caldwell will be a better manager now for the experiences that he’s had. And deserved longer in the job, plus knows what it takes to get out of Div 1.
Sorry but not a fan of Jones
— Sack Boris – Save Lives⚫️ (@Dutts4) August 7, 2020
If Richardson wanted it then I wouldn’t be adverse to giving it to him to be honest. Some continuity for the club in terms of playing style and personnel. Overhauling everything after relegation is a big gamble and just because it’s worked previously doesn’t mean it will again
— Sam Heaton (@Sam_f_Heaton) August 7, 2020
Caldwell no chance, if liam went with cook, give it Rioch at least he knows what youth we have left and should give them a chance , as long as their here .
— Majortom (@majortom1664) August 7, 2020
Caldwell proved that without superior financial backing he’s a very poor manager.
Wouldn’t mind him being involved with Latics again but never as a #1.
— WIGANorth AmericATHLETIC (@Hashtag_NHF) August 7, 2020
To be fair, the season he took over as manager, we had a completely new squad to the season before and he got us promoted. I think he would deserve a chance
— Ryan Pill (@RyanPill) August 7, 2020
Jones assisted by Caldwell, I could more than cope with that 👀 If it is going to get messy on the pitch for a while, which looks likely, I think it would massively benefit to appoint one (or two) of our own.
— Ways (@ways86) August 7, 2020
But also to buy Will Grigg. Swings and roundabouts…
— Fairc (@JonnyFairc) August 7, 2020
Leam and Rioch supporting would be better than him or Jones IMO. Esp with this wage cap, we could benefit a lot from having young squad players on littler wages with their knowledge of the current youth.
— Woody I.J (@Woodij_) August 7, 2020
After Wigan his last two jobs were not great… Always liked him but he’d have a much harder job on his hands than last time… Also needs to make up/ decide to play Morsy this time!
— Nathan Patrick (@Laticpot1) August 7, 2020
Still need an owner first 😀🤭
— Deb C (@deb_chap) August 7, 2020
Lets move forwards not backwards 👌
— Mark Stephens (@Stevie_wigan) August 7, 2020
Rather give Jones a try now
— Liam Knowles (@LiamrKnowles99_) August 7, 2020