Dave Whelan hailed “one of the best young managers in the land” after confirming he had agreed a deal to lure Steve Bruce away from Premier League rivals Birmingham on November 19, 2007.
Latics secured Bruce on a four-year deal having agreed to pay Birmingham £3million compensation.
Then-chairman Whelan told Sky Sports News: “I’m delighted we’ve got him. I think he’s a big loss for Birmingham and a big signing for Wigan Athletic.”
Bruce replaced Chris Hutchings, who left the club after losing seven consecutive matches.
Bruce previously managed Latics for a brief period towards the end of the 2000-01 season. Whelan’s decision was therefore made easier – despite his annoyance over Bruce’s departure to manage Crystal Palace in 2001.
Whelan added: “I was annoyed when he walked away but I didn’t give him a
contract, and he came for the last six weeks of the season.
“He did a super job and got an offer from Crystal Palace, which he wanted to take. I was disappointed to lose him but I’m delighted he’s come back to us.
“He’ll be a fantastic signing for Wigan Athletic. He’s one of the best young managers in the land; I’m delighted we’ve got him – and he’ll bring enthusiasm, knowledge and spirit to our team.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.