'Leaving Portsmouth was never about money' - Jack Whatmough sets record straight on why he moved to Wigan

Jack Whatmough reflected on ending his 13-year Pompey love affair and insisted: It was never about money.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 3:30 pm
Jack Whatmough is adamant the length of contract was the driving force behind leaving Pompey for Wigan. Pic: Robin Jones/Getty Images

The length of contract was pivotal to Whatmough’s decision over his future.

Despite Danny Cowley keen to retain the services of the centre-half, Pompey were unwilling to offer more than an initial 12 months.

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However, it is understood the tabled Blues contract contained the option for an additional year should the 24-year-old reach an appearance target.

Regardless, Whatmough’s primary motivation was stability for a young family, with his second daughter last month welcomed into the world.

And that meant bidding farewell to Fratton Park after 136 appearances and three goals.

He told The News: ‘Some have said I left for the money – and it’s a load of rubbish.

‘It was nothing to do with wages at any point. It was always to do with the length of the deal. Always.

‘I know I can rest easy having not left Pompey for the wrong reason.

‘It was just the length of the deal. I wanted to do it, Danny wanted to do it – the club didn’t.

‘That was Pompey’s decision and one I fully respect. I will never hold anything against the club, they have done so much for me. Not a bad word will come out of my mouth about what has happened.

‘I also cannot fault Danny through any of it, we tried to get it done and couldn’t. That’s just sometimes how football pans out.

‘Out of respect for myself and the club, I am not going to speak about details of the contract offered (by Pompey). I don’t believe it needs to be spoken about.

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‘I wouldn’t have had so many conversations with Danny about trying to get stuff sorted if we didn’t want to get it done.

‘I wanted to stay, but at the point of the week before I signed at Wigan I knew my time at Pompey was done. There was no budging.

‘Everyone is in a job to provide for their family. My main aim on this contract was to look after them, especially as Demi and myself are getting married next summer.

‘It has been stressful with the contract, I didn’t want to put my family in that situation again next season.

‘I wanted a contract right for me in terms of length of deal – and Wigan offered that with their first offer. For me, that was a no-brainer.’

Whatmough made his Pompey debut in November 2013 as a 17-year-old.

Yet of his eight first-team seasons, last term would signal the most appearances in a single campaign – totalling 38.

And Whatmough believes that emphatically answers concerns over previous injury problems.

He added: ‘I’ve now had the right surgery, which was needed.

‘There were question marks over this year and how it would pan out. Well, I made 38 appearances. Had it not been for suspensions, it would have been a full season.

‘It disappoints me a bit to come off the back of that and be questioned by some about my injury.’

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