Ver bite


The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

te in . we er it, n’t u sent Eng­land prop­erly.”

Of course, own­ing 26 play­ers is no bur­den in this era of bumper para­chute pay­ments. Rel­e­gated in May, Wi­gan will pocket £23m from the Pre­mier League this sea­son, £18m next term, then £9m in years three and four.

By con­trast, the only cash Wi­gan’s open­ing-day op­po­nents Barns­ley – beaten 4-0 at Oak­well – re­ceive is an an­nual £1.5m ‘sol­i­dar­ity’ pay­ment from the Football League.

It is a gulf that threat­ens to cre­ate a two-tier Cham­pi­onship and Whe­lan is among those who would like to see the cash more evenly spread.

“I’ve never been against that,” he says. “Even when we were in the Pre­mier League, I sug­gested it in meet­ings.

“But clubs in the Pre­mier League are very, very ob­sti­nate. They like to keep what they’ve got and the big clubs are to­tally against it. At the very men­tion, it’s ‘Oh no, we can’t do that’. But, for me, it should be fairer.”

And with that, Whe­lan is off. But there is one last ques­tion. If Luis Suarez turned up at the DW and asked for a game, would Whe­lan re­ally say no?

The eyes sparkle and a crease lines his face. “Well,” he says. “If he was go­ing free, and he promised he wouldn’t bite me or any­body else, I would give it con­sid­er­a­tion!”

01/01/2013/Pre­mier League 15/09/2012/Pre­mier League 11/04/2012/Pre­mier League 26/12/2011/Pre­mier League 26/02/2011/Pre­mier League

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