717 days from FA Cup winners to League One: tracing the Wigan nosedive

Four managers have followed Roberto Martinez to the helm since Wigan lifted the cup against Man City in 2013, while captain Emmerson Boyce is the only survivor.

717 days from FA Cup winners to League One: tracing the Wigan nosedive

Here are 10 key landmarks between that historic afternoon and the Latics’ shock plummet this week into the third tier of the Football League.

RELEGATION TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP – 14/05/13

Just three days after lifting the FA Cup, Wigan are left feeling altogether different emotions in north London as a 4-1 loss to Arsenal ends their eight-year top-flight stint. It proves to be Martinez’s penultimate game in charge too as the popular Spaniard leaves the DW Stadium to take up the vacancy at Barclays Premier League club Everton in the summer.

OWEN COYLE IS SACKED – 02/12/13

Former Burnley and Bolton boss Owen Coyle is the surprise choice to replace Martinez and he makes an impressive start as a new-look Latics side, spearheaded by striker Grant Holt, rout Barnsley 4-0. However, following a worrying 3-1 home loss to Derby, their third reverse at the DW Stadium in nine days, Coyle is moved on after just six months in the post.

LOSS TO QPR IN THE PLAY-OFFS – 12/05/14

Uwe Rosler succeeds Coyle and becomes an instant hit with Wigan fans as an eight-game winning streak, which includes victories at Premier League Cardiff and Manchester City, propels them to the FA Cup semi-finals and the Championship play-offs.

But Latics eventually run out of steam down the stretch, losing on penalties to Arsenal in the FA Cup’s last four and being beaten over two legs in the play-off semi-finals by eventually-promoted QPR.

THE SUMMER TRANSFER WINDOW – 01/09/14

Rosler gets his first chance to make his mark on the Wigan squad and the acquisitions of Spaniard Oriol Riera and Frenchman Andy Delort are designed to provide the goals needed to fire Latics to promotion. Riera and Delort prove to be massive flops, however, scoring just one goal between them during difficult first seasons in English football under Rosler, himself a former striker with Southampton and Manchester City.

UWE ROSLER IS SACKED – 13/11/14

With the club languishing in the lower reaches of the Championship table again as autumn turns into winter, a shocking second-half collapse in the derby against Bolton typifies Wigan’s problems. A shell-shocked Latics concede three times in 12 minutes to their local rivals and, during the international break, Rosler pays the price for one win in 12 fixtures.

MALKY MACKAY IS HIRED – 19/11/14

The third hiring of the post-Martinez era is shrouded in controversy as Malky Mackay is appointed despite being part of a Football Association investigation over alleged racist and homophobic text messages he sent during his time at Cardiff.

Sponsors pull out, a local MP voices her concerns and Whelan lands himself in hot water in comments to a national newspaper which result in him being handed his own FA charge, and subsequent six-week ban, in December.

THE JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW – 02/02/15

With a suspended Whelan unable to oversee developments at the DW Stadium, the brains trust make big changes with Wigan’s personnel in January, shipping Riera and Delort out on loan deals, while fellow summer signing Adam Forshaw is offloaded to Middlesbrough.

But it is the departures of FA Cup winners Roger Espinoza, Ben Watson, Shaun Maloney and Callum McManaman in quick succession which raises eyebrows as Wigan clear the decks.

DAVE WHELAN RESIGNS – 03/03/15

Upon his return from his six-week ban, Whelan announces he is resigning as chairman and scaling back his day-to-day commitments while still continuing as the club’s owner.

In his place, his grandson, 23-year-old David Sharpe, who is older than most of the players Mackay has been selecting, is appointed as Wigan’s new chairman.

MALKY MACKAY IS SACKED – 06/04/15

Sharpe shows he is not afraid of making big calls by axing Mackay after a home loss to Derby leaves Wigan eight points adrift in the relegation mire ahead of their final five games.

Mackay exits with a woeful record of 19 points from a possible 72 and no home win at all and is swiftly replaced by club captain Gary Caldwell, who lands his first managerial gig on apermanent basis.

RELEGATION TO LEAGUE ONE – 28/04/15

Caldwell, himself part of great escapes in the club’s top-flight days, is unable to prevent Wigan from dropping out of the Championship’s trap door, as they only pick up four points from crucial contests against relegation rivals Fulham, Millwall and Brighton.

Although Rotherham are deducted three points for fielding an ineligible player, the Millers seal their safety, and Millwall and Wigan’s demotion, with victory over Reading in their penultimate fixture.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox