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Championship: Wigan looking at relegation as Malky Mackay sacked


2013 FA Cup champions Wigan are on the brink of relegation to League One after their latest defeat cost manager Malky Mackay his job.

With only five games of the season remaining, the Latics find themselves on 35 points, with both Rotherham and Fulham, the two sides above the relegation places, eight points better off with a game more to play.

Mackay was brought in as replacement for Uwe Rosler, who was sacked after only three wins in their first 17 league matches, as well as a League Cup defeat by League Two side Burton.

However, the former Cardiff manager's appointment caused controversy, with revelations about racist, sexist and homophobic text messages leading to an investigation by the FA.

Former chairman Dave Whelan appointed Mackay despite these allegations, but made matters worse for himself and the club when he used racist remarks whilst trying to defend his new appointment.

Whelan was handed a ban by the FA but the governing body ruled that he was 'not racist'. The ban however prompted Whelan to step down as chairman of the club after 20 years, placing his 23 year old grandson David Sharpe in charge.

Mackay only won five games during his tenure and the club's poor run of form has seen them cemented in the bottom three. Blackpool's relegation was confirmed over the Easter weekend, and with no permanent managerial appointment expected before the end of the season, Wigan's fate could be the same.

Whilst Blackpool's demise from Premier League side to the third tier of English football has perhaps been coming for some time, Wigan's fall from grace since their historic win over Manchester City at Wembley two years ago has been sudden and unexpected.

The club were relegated from the Premier League just days after their FA Cup triumph after eight years in the top flight. Then manager Roberto Martinez' departure to Everton, as well as a couple of star players, were expected but not thought to be pivotal to Wigan's chances of returning to the top flight.

However new manager Owen Coyle struggled to cope with the gruelling Championship schedule coupled with the club's Europa League adventure, and was sacked after only a few months in charge.

Rosler was brought in and with the shackles of European football removed, managed to take the side to the play-offs, where they bowed out at the semi final stage.

Many fans and pundits alike expected them to achieve a similar finish this season, but the poor start under Rosler, followed by the controversy and indifferent displays of Mackay's reign, have left this club on the brink.
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