Wigan’s James McArthur has FA Cup medal, wedding rings stolen


(McArthur, left, in happier times after winning the FA Cup. Image: Getty)

It’s been a rough week for Wigan midfielder James McArthur.

Burglars broke into McArthur’s home sometime between May 20 and 26 and cleaned out the Scotland international’s personal belongings. Among those belongings were his FA Cup winner’s medal from last year and two wedding rings.

"I am devastated, as is my fiancee. The medal is priceless for me and this is a real blow to us to happen just before the wedding. They ripped through the house and took virtually everything of value. – it is very upsetting," McArthur told Wigan’s official website.

What kind of sleazy person steals such personal effects? Police admit that the criminals will probably have a hard time pawning off the medal.

“It is unlikely the offenders will keep hold of the medal and may try to sell it on.  Obviously, it is unusual for such an item to come on the market …” DC Kevin Telford said.
Here’s to hoping the crooks are dumb enough to try and sell the medal and get busted.

(h/t r/soccer)


Champions League + Europa League spots sealed

The Barclays Premier League has come to an end and the Champions League positions are set. The Premier League will be sending the same representatives as last year but will be hoping for a much better result as none of them made it through to the Quarterfinals in this year’s competition.

There will be a different look for the Europa League representatives this season.

Tottenham will be returning to the Europa League for the second consecutive season and will be joined by Swansea and a relegated Wigan club.

Swansea has secured their birth thanks to a 5-0 victory over Bradford in the League Cup final. Despite the impending relegation, Wigan will be heading to the Europa League group stage courtesy of a 1-0 defeat of Manchester City in the FA Cup Final.


Premier League, Surviving on Top: Part two


In part two of our examination of the history and impact of relegation from the Premier League, we take a look at the statistical odds and financial impact for each club.

There is still hope for recently-relegated Wigan, Reading, and QPR. Clubs that are relegated to the Championship have a 60% chance of returning to the Premier League the following season — though none that were relegated last year made their way back.

For clubs that are promoted to the Premier League, there is an 82% chance that they will be relegated the following year, evidenced by Reading this year. Newly promoted Cardiff City hopes to channel the momentum to make sure that doesn’t happen next year:

The financial implications of relegation cannot be overstated. Next season, Premier League clubs will receive 30 times more yearly revenue from TV rights than teams in the Championship. Just one year of relegation can cripple a team’s finances.


Tomorrow, we look at the relegation hardships that teams endure, as well as the compensation received to help soften the financial blow. All of this is leading up to FOX Soccer’s coverage of the final Premier League matchday with nine games live on broadcast across the FOX family of networks.



Premier League, Surviving on Top: Part One


As the season comes to a close, we examine the history and impact of relegation from the Premier League with our three-part series “Surviving on Top.” Various topics during in our discourse include the overview of relegation, the 21-year history of Premier League relegation, as well as statistical and financial analysis on the impact of relegation.

To start, the most recent team to seal their fate to England’s second-tier league - the Football League Championship - were Wigan after their defeat against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday:

Wigan previously held the distinction of being one of 11 clubs that never suffered relegation from the Premier League; with Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, Stoke and Swansea also in the list. Conversely, of the 45 clubs that have enjoyed spells in the Premier League, eight of them have been relegated three or more times from the top flight:


On Saturday, we take a look at the statistical odds of relegation and promotion, as well as the financial impact for each club in their respective league. All of this is leading up to FOX Soccer’s coverage of the final Premier League matchday with nine games live on broadcast across the FOX family of networks.


Poor Carlos Tevez.

First, the Argentinian striker was subbed out during the FA Cup final despite being perhaps City’s best player at the time. Then he had to take a long walk up the Wembley steps to receive the runners-up medal (never fun, and never easy to do in cleats). And then, to cap off a truly horrible day, Tevez took an ugly spill walking back down those harrowing steps of doom (scroll to 1:30 mark).

Had Tevez only seen the match official take a similar slip just a minute earlier, maybe he would have saved himself from a bruised behind.


Relegation Battle: One week remaining


Remaining matches that impact relegation:

5/14: Arsenal vs. Wigan

5/19: Wigan vs. Aston Villa; Tottenham vs. Sunderland

Heading into the final week of the Barclays Premier League, the final team relegated has yet to be determined. Following recent results Stoke, Norwich, Newcastle, Southampton, and Fulham have sealed their spots in the Premier League for next season.

All eyes will be on the match between Arsenal and Wigan on Tuesday. Arsenal is battling for a Champions League position and Wigan is fighting for survival. A Wigan loss will be a dagger in their campaign and would condemn them to the Championship next season.

If the Latics beat the Gunners, Sunday’s matchup between Wigan and Aston Villa could have Premier League life or death riding on it.