Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has thanked chairman Dave Whelan for dipping into his own pocket to ensure that a £3 million summer deal for Ivan Ramis went through.
Ramis, 28, scored his first goal for the club on Saturday in the 2-1 victory over West Ham - a club who also tried to sign him from Real Mallorca before he moved to the DW Stadium.
Hammers manager Sam Allardyce was set to win the battle for the defender's signature with a higher bid, until Whelan coughed up some extra money to complete a deal.
Ramis made a slow start to life in England, at fault for two goals in the first eight minutes as Wigan were beaten 2-0 at home by Chelsea on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
But his performance on Saturday sealed Wigan's first home victory of the campaign and left Martinez grateful to his chairman.
"We couldn't match the valuation of what West Ham agreed with Mallorca and until the chairman found the money we didn't have at the football club, you worry that you're going to lose the player," Martinez told The Guardian.
"But the chairman knew how much we wanted to get the player and he allowed us to match the price. I don't know how big his pockets are but they were big enough on this occasion.
"Being a football man makes a big difference. He went over to Mallorca and he was really influential in the deal.
"Ramis is developing his communication skills quickly and he's a leader. It's a really important signing for us. He's been one of the best defenders in Spain for three or four years."