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Wigan's footballers to compensate fans

November 24th, 2009
11:41 AM ET

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/24/wigan.art.jpg caption="Chaos in the Wigan defence as they went down 9-1 to Tottenham Hotspur."]Wigan Athletic’s humiliating defeat at the hands of a rampant Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday’s Premier League tie was the worst in the club’s history. They lost 9-1, leaking a staggering eight goals in the second half.

It is not a defeat that fans will have taken lightly and seemingly, the same goes for the players who are now offering the supporters compensation for the agony they were forced to endure.

In a statement released by the club, captain Mario Melchiot has apologized for the team’s woeful display and promised that the players will refund the ticket price to supporters who attended the game.

So will this placate the poor fans who traveled 200 miles to watch their team? It seems unlikely. But what do you think? Is this an appropriate gesture from apologetic players or should they be doing something else? After all, the price of a match day ticket is a drop in the ocean to Premiership players who earn more in a week than most of their supporters earn in a year. Send us your comments.

Filed under:  General
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Reif

    I resent the use of the word "agony" in this article. Perhaps you will find this definition of it enlightening:

    Agony: extreme and generally prolonged pain; intense physical or mental suffering.

    I'm not sure where driving 200 miles, by choice, and going to see a sport (a luxury, by the way) just to be "forced to sit though" the team you support losing comes anywhere close to that definition. Especially when those fans had the ability at any time to get up and walk out, or instead use the money they spent on gas and tickets in a more reasonable area of expenditure.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  2. Goran

    I think all of the Cleveland Browns Football players should do the same. In fact they should give all the money so that we can rebuild Cleveland and make it into a nice city that it once was. I thank you : )


    November 24, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  3. Odek Fred - Silver Africa Tours

    My name is Odek Fred and my comments are as followsthe funs of any club should never be compensated for any loss , we support football teams or any other spot voluntarilly and players have no obligation to refund any such money .
    In the business world the ceo of a company still gets paid even if the company runs losses . And remember its agame someone is suppose to loose , this time it was wigan . Tottenham still got only 3 leage points for this game so no ham done better game next time .

    Suprisingly Arsenal lost their game by one goal and still lost 3 points i was disapointed but thats the nature of the game so lets all move on .

    Odek Fred – Silver Africa Tours.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  4. Agony indeed!

    Fans should boycott the team to show their displeasure for athletes who make more money than they should if they won't take a game that has made many of them rich more seriously!

    November 24, 2009 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  5. Warranty

    Nice to see a warranty.

    Similar to a restaurant offering to give a refund for a bad meal...cannot expect them to compensate for your travel to the restaurant.

    The fans stayed in the game out of respect and the team offered to refund the tickets also out of respect.

    Imagine if teams did this with all home games when losing by such a margin...

    November 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  6. Mikalche

    Bravos Goran 🙂

    November 24, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  7. Justin Weeks

    I see jealousy about how much money the players make relative to their fans. The fans are directly responsible for making these guys rich and need to use this opportunity to wake up and ask themselves why they're willing to give away their hard-earned money to watch a bunch of silver-spooners kick around a leather ball.

    November 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  8. richard crosby

    football is in the entertainment business, 10 goals in game is certainly better than none. wigan fans will be rightly miffed that their team were slaughtered, but it was fun for the rest of us. Whether wigan players should be paid so much for being hopeless is a different issue.

    November 24, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  9. moe

    i agree the word agony should have not been used in the article due to this being just a football match where anything can. if this is agony then what can you call the Gaza massacre where 1400 innocent people died.

    November 24, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  10. Vivien

    @ Reif, your comment show that you know nothing at all about being a fan of a soccer team. Don't take it personally, it's not an insult.

    People, especially poor ones, over the years have found a way to subside their daily pain, struggle and discomfort into something called "being fan" mostly of soccer teams. They're ready to anything to go and see their team play, win and win well. That alone keeps them from all negativities of their lives for a while, they'll talk about the game long after it's over, they'll comment it and they'll silently bless the players for having put joy, happiness and comfort in their heart for a while. They'll sleep on it, keep talking about it in their sleep and when they get up in the morning, they're completely re-energized, they feel like they can do anything, they feel like all their trouble has vanished overnight, they don't feel the pain of the day because there's something bigger that is enchanting their heart...It's kind of when you're in love...they look forward to the next wkend they'll go and see their team play again, play well, win, win well...

    So indeed, it's a great pain and agony for them to sit down and watch their team get beaten, let alone by such a wide margin.

    If you know what it means to be poor, then kindly ponder over my comment and you'll see how a defeat of their dear team can impact their life?


    November 24, 2009 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  11. Sam I Am

    I think it is one of the most dignified gestures from a player, or team in this case, I’ve seen in a long time. They obviously can't turn back time and give it another shot but they realize that they didn’t give the fans their money’s worth, and so they’re giving it back. While most professional soccer players make a good deal of money, they don't exactly have stable careers or pension plans. They get their futures money upfront rather than spread across their lifetime. And we ultimately pay their salaries so we must think it’s alright. For those who say 'its just a game,' then you probably think religion is just a set of beliefs.

    November 25, 2009 at 9:21 am | Reply
  12. Jonathan

    No, I don't think they players should reimburse the fans.

    Although it's a very generous offer, sports are like that. Sometimes teams lose, sometimes by large margins. What is the margin that requires reimbursement? Eight goals? Six?

    If you drive 200 miles to watch a sporting event, that's your choice to make. The players aren't responsible for your travel expenses or ticket costs.

    November 25, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  13. Warren

    Why is the photograph labeled "Chaos in the Wigan defence..."? The picture is of the Tottenham Goalkeeper.

    November 25, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  14. Spurs fan for life

    I have been a fan of Tottenham for nearly 30 years and I was proud to watch a dsplay like that on Sunday. It wasn't so much the 9 goals in a game that was impressive, it was the 8 goals in the second half that impressed me.

    The 9 goals conceded in one game by Wigan is only the third time in 10 years that this has happened in the Premier League and Wigan aren't premier league quality anyway.

    There should be no refunds whatsoever! If someone travels 200 miles and their team gets whipped then so be it. Wigan could turn around next week and beat Portsmouth, another sorry excuse for a Premier League team, 10-0 and no one would ask for refund.

    As bad as Wigan are, they would still beat the MLS champion Real Salt Lake franchise any day of the week.

    November 25, 2009 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  15. henry olabanji

    Is really astonish to hear that fans want there money back, is just a game someone has to loss,you do nor expect to win all time,is like the God of soccer was not on the side of Wigan, so I think they should forget about it and try to play better on next game.

    Also, I think most players are not doing there best this days , it looks to me that because they are now rich,they are now playing big man game,not like the first time when fighting to reach the top.

    Wigan player, this should be the last time to play a game of this type with great lost because if it happen again, you should all be lock up.

    November 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  16. Dana

    It's very honorable or them to refund their fans tickets, especially for the simple fact that they do make so much for playing the game. Imagine what the world would be like if more people had the same level of self-expectation.....

    Angony Indeed...you're being a bit fanatical about it, not that I disagree with the fact that atheletes and other entertainers are highly over paid, but sometimes everyone has a REALLY bad day.

    November 27, 2009 at 7:28 pm | Reply
  17. Abdul

    Join Chelsea, it is a agony-free club...

    November 28, 2009 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  18. Atlanta Fan

    I think it's a fantastic gesture from a team to its fans. I suffered for years with a terrible baseball team. One time the team Owner (Ted Turner) allowed fans to use their tickets for the next game until the Braves won. It turned a bad situation into a fun time. FYI, the team one the next game but we got two games fro the price of one.

    The players of Wigan Athletic appear to care about their fans.

    November 29, 2009 at 5:06 am | Reply
  19. big Sam

    For me, its no big deal. no matter the margin of the loss, hotspur only gained three points. Moreover. the fans had a choice of watching the game on telly over a mug of beer.which is a lot cheaper.

    November 29, 2009 at 10:19 am | Reply
  20. Darrel

    this melchiot dude should be ashamed to even make such statement.he shouldn't have talked about paying the fans back cos its like insult to injury..
    after messinh up,the best thing they shld hav done is to apologise,go home n start learning how to play soccer

    November 29, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  21. Mike Dorflinger

    I think the concept of reimbursing fans for a loss is ridiculous. If you are a fan you are loyal in the good and the ugly. If the players want to do something to redeem themselves do it during practice and on the pitch.

    On the other hand, the amount of money that a ticket costs and the amount of money the players make is even more ridiculous. Sport has turned into a moneymaking extraveganza. You have to sell your left kidney to take your family to a match. The fans may be in it for love of sport and maybe that is why we are still willing to feed this money making monster at our expense.

    November 30, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  22. JFI

    Doesn't matter whether you pay $1 or $500 for a ticket and drive 1 mile or 1000 miles.....it's a choice and anything can happen in a game....no fan deserves a refund in that scenario. If the players want to pay it then fine if not then better luck next time Mr or Ms Fan!

    November 30, 2009 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  23. levijane

    REIF , well put i agree 100 percent, why would the fans be in agony? did somebody stomp on their throats after every goal?? lol

    December 3, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  24. SK

    The player's shouldn't have to return anything. They are doing it, and that's great.

    Its a game, it can go either way, and driving 200 miles or 500 miles was the fans' choice – no one forced them.

    Agony? Really? Disappointment, yes, but agony I think is a bit harsh.

    December 3, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  25. Lighten Up

    The popular phrase is "the agony of defeat". Who cares what it says in the dictionary? That's how the word is used these days. Take your merriam-webster back to the library you nerd, and let the sports fans debate this talking point.

    December 7, 2009 at 4:47 am | Reply
  26. Mark London

    10 goals in a game is a lot of entertainment, much better than a goal-less draw. The players shouldn't have to compensate the fans though, you support your team, lose or win. Maybe the Tottenham fans should compensate the Wigan fans because they got more than their fair share of entertainment? Lol.

    December 10, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  27. Carol Baldridge

    Attendees bought tickets to see a match. There was no guarantee of the outcome, no assurance of a win or loss. Attendees/fans are owed nothing, and should receive nothing except perhaps an apology from the obviously ashamed team members for their poor showing.

    December 13, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  28. Mikel

    You're a real deep thinker. Thanks for srahing.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:13 am | Reply

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