Martinez repays Wigan loyalty
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez feels he owed it to the club and chairman Dave Whelan to reject overtures from Aston Villa.
The Spaniard has turned down the chance to succeed Gerard Houllier at Villa Park in a repayment of loyalty to the Latics. Martinez, who took charge at the DW Stadium two years ago, has now been offered a pay rise and a new three-year contract by Whelan.
Whelan stood by Martinez when the club flirted with relegation from the Barclays Premier League last season - escaping the drop only on the final day - and the 37-year-old wants to repay that faith. Martinez said: "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."
He added: "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 told Sky Sports News: "Roberto is staying, that is the great news. I had a gut feeling that he wanted to stay at Wigan.
"He is signing a new three-year contract and obviously we have had to give him an increase in basic salary and incentives. But money has not been what this has been about.
"Villa will be disappointed but I am over the moon and I am sure every Wigan supporter will join me in saying it is fantastic and we're so pleased to have Roberto.
"I don't think we were really close to losing him but he has to consider his future, he is in football.
"He is going places, we all know that. Aston Villa are a bigger club and when you get a club like that wanting your services, it is something to be proud of. I would never have blamed him if he'd gone and would have wished him the best of luck."