Manager wanted to repay Whelan
Roberto Martinez's desire to repay Dave Whelan's faith was behind his decision to remain at Wigan.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 10/06/11 9:10pm
Roberto Martinez has revealed his desire to repay Dave Whelan's faith was behind his decision to remain at Wigan on a new three-year deal.
Whelan granted Aston Villa permission to speak to Martinez regarding their vacant manager's position.
The Latics chairman told Sky Sports News on Thursday that his gut feeling was that the Spaniard, who had a year left on his contract, would stay at the DW Stadium.
And after a brief meeting there on Friday, Martinez signed an improved contract under Whelan, who brought the 37-year-old to Wigan as a player in 1995 and then as a manager in 2009.
"Over the last two years the chairman has been very supportive to me and loyal, and now I feel I need to be loyal and supportive back to him," Martinez told the club's official website.
"I haven't finished my job at Wigan Athletic, there is much work still to be done. I don't know how long that will take but such is the belief that I have always had that I would only ever decide to move once the club is ready for a new manager."
Whelan insisted Martinez would leave with his blessing if he opted to take on the Villa job but he is delighted to keep hold of a man he has tipped to one day manage one of Europe's top clubs.
"I'm sure Villa will be disappointed," Whelan told Sky Sports News.
"I'm over the moon and I'm sure every Wigan supporter will join me in saying we're so pleased we've got Roberto.
"I don't think we were really close to losing him but he has to consider his future. He's going places, we all know that, and Aston Villa are a big club. When you get a club like Aston Villa wanting your services it's something to be proud of."
Having retained Martinez's services, Whelan urged fans to come out in force next season as the former Swansea boss aims to build on successive 16th-place finishes in the Premier League.
"I think Wigan people will look at this and think 'Roberto is showing that football is not greed and everything that people believe it is'," added the Latics chief.
"Football is a sport with loyalty in it and he's been so loyal to me over this that we should look at that. The Wigan people, the supporters, go and buy your season tickets - that's all I can ask them to do.
"We've had a quick word about that (next season) and Roberto's intentions are to finish in the top 10."