The Better Side of Football

In football it seems rare these days to hear someone speaking in an open, transparent and straight talking honest way, that was exactly what I heard from Wigan chairman Dave Whelan in two seperate radio interviews today regarding the possible move of Roberto Martinez to Aston Villa.

It is also rare to hear a club getting praised for behaving in an honourable manner, rather than accusations of under hand procedures getting thrown around. Dave Whelan couldn’t have praised the conduct of Aston Villa and Randy Lerner any more than he did today.

Earlier in this saga, Lerner and Villa contacted Fulham to tell them they had nothing to do with Mark Hughes’ departure from the club, judging by the fact that Fulham haven’t accused Villa of anything, I’d have to say that it looks like they didn’t contact Hughes behind the clubs back. Dave Whelan’s remarks only serve to back this up.

Listening to Whelan I couldn’t help think that for a football manager this is the sort of chairman/owner you could only dream of working for, his integrity sounds unquestionable.

When this Martinez to Villa story started to gather pace yesterday, my first thought was that I would be amazed if Martinez walked out on Wigan without Dave Whelan’s blessing, I also thought that Whelan probably wouldn’t stand in his way if he did want too move. It’s good to see that there seems to be a mutual respect between the two men.

Along with Aston Villa, the conduct of both clubs seems to be the exception, rather than the norm. I’m sure over the summer we will get plenty of the usual claim and counter claim bullcrap that usually accompanies big money transfers, generally involving the bigger clubs.

Whether Roberto Martinez stays or goes, I’ll certainly be hoping that Wigan stay up next season (as I did last). The Premier League is certainly a better place with Dave Whelan in it.

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