Clubs urged to accept proposals
Mon, 20 May 2013 19:04:00
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez will make a decision about his future after holding talks with chairman Dave Whelan next week.
The Spaniard has been tipped to succeed David Moyes at Everton with the Latics' relegation from the Premier League heightening speculation that we will leave.
Whelan still hopes to hold onto Martinez after he guided the club to FA Cup glory, but the manager refused to be drawn on his plans after the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa on the final day.
The 39-year-old attended the club's open top bus parade and did confirm he will make up his mind next week.
The squad and the backroom staff boarded an open-top bus at their Christopher Park training ground before making their way into the Market Place, where thousands of supporters were waiting to welcome them.
"Over the next week we'll sit down with the chairman and we'll decide," he told Sky Sports News. "But it's just a time to be proud of the achievement of the last eight years at this level, making sure we can bounce back.
"But the football club financially and in terms of history, we're ready to break even more ground, playing in the Europa League in the group stages, and carry on making that belief and pride of Wigan very strong."
When asked about the date of his meeting with Whelan, he replied: "Well it will be a week on Monday, a week today."
Relegation from the Premier League certainly had not dampened the spirits of Latics fans as they once again revelled in the shock 1-0 victory over Manchester City nine days ago that earned Wigan the first major trophy in the club's history.
So many people crowded into the Market Place that the bus had trouble getting through, but when the squad finally did make it on to the stage, there was only one message the fans wanted to get across.
As Martinez took the microphone, he had to ask the crowd to quieten down as the chant of, 'Roberto Martinez, we want you to stay', filled the air.
The Spaniard, who first joined the club in 1995 as player and has been manager for the last four years, is the favourite to take over from David Moyes at Everton, while he has also been linked with the Malaga post in his home country.
When he was able to speak, he said to the crowd: "Let me tell you two things. One - we are the FA Cup winners. Two - we've got a special group of players and backroom staff that make Wigan Athletic proud.
"And without your support that would never happen, so we want to thank you from the heart."
There will be significant changes to the playing squad as well, but winning the FA Cup is likely to remain the pinnacle for many of them.
Club captain Gary Caldwell said: "It's incredible to see so many people come out. For the town it's a great day and the boys will remember this for the rest of their lives."
Strutton, 24, signed for the Dons last March and went on to make 17 appearances in total this year in what was his first full season, finding the net three times in the FA Cup.
Boss Neal Ardley told the club's official website: "Charlie had good impact in games, particularly at the end of last season, and he played a big part in us staying up.
"Charlie is still a bit raw and has had a few injuries in the last couple of years. However, if we can get a full season out of him or limit his time out injured then he can be a really good striker at this level."
Strutton himself added: "I am over the moon because this is what I wanted.
"I wanted to stay at Wimbledon, where I have enjoyed it a lot so far. I was not thinking about going anywhere else and I was just hoping that the club would offer me another contract. I am pleased that I have been offered a chance to stay."
The 40-year-old edged out Michael Appleton in a rigorous selection process which only saw the decision made an hour before his unveiling on Monday afternoon.
"We have had a very arduous process to find our new manager," Ryan said. "We have gone through this process which has been finalised on Monday and we have unanimously decided on a young, aggressive person who manages like he played.
"We knew it was a critical appointment having just got back into the Championship. We wanted someone who could take us on from where we are now and we were very impressed with Paul with the way he played against us for Oldham three times last season.
"We feel he has all the credentials to become a fantastic manager in years to come.
"He is very organised, very hard working, very enthusiastic and although there was some very stiff competition he came out top, in a 14-point criteria and also in the interviews. We have done all we can to acquire the best manager we can for Doncaster.
"There was intense competition and Doncaster Rovers is now a coveted job whereas 20 years it maybe wasn't."
The 22-year-old is due to return south after Sunday's William Hill Scottish Cup final against Celtic but now says he wants to stay put with Hibs.
Wolves are currently without a manager after sacking Dean Saunders following their relegation to npower League One, but have activated a clause in Griffiths' contract that ties him down to another year in England.
However, the 28-goal striker has made it clear he wants to stay in Leith with the club he supported as a boy.
The Scotland international, who has spent the last 18 months on loan in Edinburgh, has previously spoken about his hopes that Hibs can strike a deal with Wolves but was more explicit with his wishes.
The Scottish Football Writers' Association and Clydesdale Bank Player of the Year award winner said: "It's not 100 per cent definite that I'll be going back to Wolves. I want to stay here. I love the club and I don't want to leave yet.
"It's up to Hibs and Wolves to agree a fee. Wolves have taken up the option of another year on my contract and they want me to be a big part of their plans for promotion next season.
"But I don't want to leave Hibs. It's the fans that I have really taken to because I'm one of them. I've showed on the park how much they mean to me and how much the club means to me.
"I love the club too much to go but if Sunday's match is to be my last, then what a way to go out with a Scottish Cup final and hopefully a winner's medal."
The 12 SPL clubs reaffirmed their unanimous backing for plans to merge the two league bodies and introduce play-offs between the top two divisions.
However, they rejected amendments on wealth distribution and governance which the 30 Scottish Football League clubs fully backed last week.
The SPL is set to proceed to a written resolution and hold a vote in the next seven to 10 days before putting the ball in the SFL's court.
The SFL asked for a change to the distribution model which would have spread money from the second tier to the bottom two divisions, but the SPL clubs want to focus wealth redistribution into the current First Division in order to create a softer landing for relegated clubs.
Topping said: "I take a perspective that says you'd have to have your head looked at to turn down extra money, wouldn't you?
"You would really have to consider where is the SFL going to generate the funding we are providing for the professional game? Where is that going to come from?
"Where is the management of the SFL going to generate that funding?
"The SPL have said we will provide financial help to these professional clubs to stop that situation happening."
When asked about the lower-league clubs' desire for a more equitable share of central income, Topping said: "We discussed that at length.
"We should be looking for a single league body and we should be looking forward to generating cash for the game.
"That's the focus of the SPL and something we believe can be delivered for next season, should be delivered for next season and must be delivered for next season.
"And any attempt to delay developments until the next season, I don't think it's good for the game in Scotland, and people who might look at it that way, I think need to go away and stick their head in an ice bucket and think again."
Topping stressed that the main issue was to prevent the financial crises that have struck clubs who were relegated from the top flight.
Dunfermline went into administration this season after dropping out of the SPL and ended up suffering consecutive relegations after a points deduction.
Speaking about the SPL proposals, Topping said: "There are lots of positives there, including a desire to look after the professional game in Scotland and ensure the professional game is properly funded, and we don't have the situation where clubs disappear into SFL Division One at the moment and face hardship for a considerable period of time and they are not able in a competitive sense to bounce back.
"That is not good for Scottish football. That leads to problems in local communities because a lot of people get laid off and it isn't good for the psychology of football to see that happen."
The SFL clubs are next due to meet on Thursday afternoon for the organisation's annual general meeting.
The tweak in governance they were proposing for the new merged body was that one club from each of the bottom three divisions should be represented on the board along with three top-flight clubs.
But the SPL wants two second-tier clubs and one lower-league club to join the top-division representatives.