Footballers are increasingly perceived as being removed from the ‘real world’, and countless post-match interviews see players (and indeed managers) making excuses for poor performances. Supporters pay good money to watch bad football, often with no explanation or apology from those concerned afterwards.
Wigan Athletic’s 9-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur yesterday was obviously a very different beast. The best spin doctor in the world couldn’t squirm out of that one.
But even so, the Wigan players have responded in a creditable fashion today. Club captain, Mario Melchiot, announced that Wigan’s players would pay out refunds to each and very Wigan supporter who had made their way down to London yesterday to watch their team.
The statement read, “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.”
How wonderful and novel would it be if all sportsmen responded to bad defeats in this fashion? I’m not suggesting that every team that has a shocker should refund their fans, but it would be refreshing if more sporting professionals took responsibility for a poor performance and apologised to their (often long-suffering) fans. Who, less we forget, pay their wages.
So, what sporting performance would you have liked a refund, or at least an apology, for?
And outside the sporting sphere, do you think we hear the word “sorry” enough?