Wigan players offer ticket refund after 9-1 loss

WIGAN, England -- The outcome was so embarrassing that Wigan's players want to refund the cost of tickets to their fans.

Wigan was routed 9-1 by Tottenham on Sunday, matching a league record for most goals scored by a team in a game. Jermain Defoe had five of Tottenham's eight goals in the second half at White Hart Lane .

"We feel that as a group of players we badly let down our supporters yesterday, and this is a gesture we have to make and pay them back for their tremendous loyalty," Wigan defender Mario Melchiot said.

"As a group of professionals, we were embarrassed by the way we performed. We feel it was below our standards and this is something we feel we owe to the fans."

Wigan declined to say how many of its fans were at the game -- likely to be fewer than 1,000 -- but said the amount the players would pay would be a "five-figure sum."

Although Wigan does not have a huge following and averages about 17,000 fans for home games, those who made the 350-mile round trip to north London and back had a grim day.

Ipswich is the only other team to concede nine goals in a Premier League game, against Manchester United in 1995. Defoe matched the record of five goals in a game by Man United's Andy Cole (against Ipswich) and Newcastle's Alan Shearer (against Sheffield Wednesday in 1999).

What's more, Wigan's lone goal, by Paul Scharner with the score 3-0, looked dubious because he controlled the ball with his arm before scoring.

"We have to draw a line under the game, focus completely on training this week and bounce back on Saturday (against Sunderland)," said Melchiot, a 33-year-old Dutch defender. "We are professionals. We will take it on the chin and move on, but it's important that we do not take our supporters for granted."