|Wigan defenders were destroyed by Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe [GALLO/GETTY]|
The shame of being thrashed by Tottenham 9-1 has provoked Wigan players to refund the cost of match tickets to their travelling fans.
The struggling English Premier League team were humiliated by a dominant Spurs on Sunday, conceding a record-equalling number of goals at White Hart Lane.
The northern English club declined to say how many of their fans were at the game – but said the amount the players would pay out would be “a five-figure sum.”
“We feel that as a group of players we badly let down our supporters yesterday, and this is a gesture we have to make and pay them back for their tremendous loyalty,” Wigan defender Mario Melchiot said.
“As a group of professionals, we were embarrassed by the way we performed. We feel it was below our standards and this is something we feel we owe to the fans.”
Grim down south
Despite Wigan not having a huge following – it was estimated there were around 1000 fans at the game – and an average of around 17,000 fans for home games, the supporters who made a round trip of 350 miles to north London and back had a grim day as their team went into the record books for the wrong reasons.
Wigan’s worst ever defeat also tied some Premier League records.
Ipswich are the only other team to concede nine goals in a Premier League game, against Manchester United in 1995.
Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe scored five of Tottenham’s eight in the second half.
|The stuff of nightmares for Wigan fans [GALLO/GETTY]|
Defoe matched the record of five goals in a game held by Man United’s Andy Cole (against Ipswich) and Newcastle’s Alan Shearer (against Sheffield Wednesday in 1999).
Also, Wigan’s lone goal, by Paul Scharner with the score at 3-0, looked dubious because he controlled the ball with his arm before scoring.
Skipper Melchiot, a 33-year-old Dutch defender who has also played for Ajax, Chelsea, Birmingham and Rennes, said the Wigan players were anxious to put
Sunday’s debacle behind them.
“Now, we have to draw a line under the game, focus completely on training this week and bounce back on Saturday (against Sunderland),” he said.
“We are professionals. We will take it on the chin and move on, but it’s important that we do not take our supporters for granted.”