Whatmough is the second player to make the jump from Wigan to Preston this summer after former Manchester United academy graduate Will Keane signed a two-year contract at Deepdale earlier in the transfer window.
Keane moved to Preston for an undisclosed fee but Whatmough left for free having ripped up his contract last week due to ‘repeated contractual breaches under the previous ownership’.
However, Whatmough and Keane were not the only members of the Latics that jumped ship to the Lilywhites. Development coach Peter Murphy and ex-caretaker boss Rob Kelly followed suit.
Paul Kendrick, Deputy Sports Editor of the Wigan Observer, has claimed that the moves have ‘not gone down well’ at the DW Stadium in light of Whatmough’s departure.
When questioned about the report on Twitter, Kendrick replied, saying:
“I speak to a lot of people at Wigan. And the non-payment was under the previous owners. That’s the whole sore point.”
The ‘repeated contractual breaches’ referred to in Wigan Athletic’s statement announcing the departure of Whatmough and Jamie McGrath last week were under the previous ownership.
Attempts were made to keep both men at the club but these fell on deaf ears. According to Kendrick’s comments, there is some feeling behind the scenes at Wigan that they were still being punished for the failings of the last regime.
Wigan can’t exactly be ticked at Preston over Keane’s exit. The Republic of Ireland international didn’t leave on a free, he was sold by the board to the Championship side and so the Latics received a fee.
The reported anger at Preston likely comes from Whatmough’s move. Wigan received no transfer fee for the 26-year-old centre-back after the player terminated his deal last week.
While the club’s frustrations are understandable and the owners are new, it also makes sense that certain members of the playing and coaching staff were fed up at Wigan given the mental toll the last year took on everyone. Who can blame them for leaving?