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Page last updated at 14:00 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Wigan stars count cost of refund

Jermain Defoe scores for Spurs
Defoe scores his second goal during Tottenham's 9-1 win

Wigan's players are to personally refund hundreds of supporters who bought tickets from the club for the 9-1 hammering at Tottenham on Sunday.

The maximum total pay-out to fans who bought tickets at the DW Stadium would be over £15,000, BBC Sport understands.

"We feel that as a group of players we badly let down our supporters," said Wigan captain Mario Melchiot via the official club website.

"This is a gesture we have to make and pay them back for their loyalty."

Wigan were given an allocation of 565 tickets for the match at White Hart Lane, priced at £27.40 for adults, with discounts for over-65s and under-16s.

The club have not confirmed how many of those tickets were sold for the game, or how many were bought at the DW Stadium.

If every member of the first-team squad contributed, the maximum individual bill for the refund would be less than £1,000 each.

But Jason Taylor, of the Wigan Supporters' Club, said the nature of the players' offer outweighed the financial implications.

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

Mario Melchiot

"As far as supporters go it's a really good gesture," said Taylor. "It's brought the club closer to the fans again, which is what it's trying to do at the moment.

"The players are clearly embarrassed about the performance. They knew they didn't do as well as they could and they wanted to show fans it wasn't acceptable and going forward it won't happen again.

"It shows that the players get the community spirit of the club and have the fans at heart."

Wigan's defeat on Sunday was the second highest score in Premier League history.

They were the first team to concede nine goals in a Premier League match since Manchester United beat Ipswich 9-0 at Old Trafford in 1995.

The Latics have leaked 14 goals in their last three matches and now sit only three places and three points above the relegation zone with a goal difference of -17.

"There is not a lot else to say, just that as a group of professionals we were embarrassed by the way we performed, we feel it was below our standards and this (the refund) is something we feel we owe to the fans," admitted Melchiot.

"Now we have to draw a line under the game, focus completely on training this week and bounce back on Saturday.

"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."

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Striker Jermain Defoe did most of the damage for Spurs at White Hart Lane, scoring five goals in the club's highest top-flight win.

Peter Crouch, Aaron Lennon and Niko Krancjar also scored and the unfortunate Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland scored an own goal.

Paul Scharner scored the Latics' goal.

The club has confirmed that every supporter who bought a ticket from the DW Stadium for the game on Saturday should contact the ticket office and a full refund will be offered to them.

Refunds must be claimed on or before Friday 4th December 2009.

"The players have asked me not to release details of the amount [they will be repaying] but they wanted to make the gesture," Wigan's head of media and publications Ed Jones told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Maybe it would have been different if it was a home game," he admitted. "It was a shock to the system, they're professionals and they've been through a bit of a humiliation.

"The club is a small, family-run institution, we're all in it together and it has not been pleasant."

Wigan return to action when they host Sunderland this weekend.



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see also
Martinez embarrassed after defeat
22 Nov 09 |  Wigan
Tottenham 9-1 Wigan
22 Nov 09 |  Premier League
Sunday football as it happened
22 Nov 09 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
22 Nov 09 |  Football


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