Skip to main content

Wigan administrators confident takeover will be completed in time for new season

Wigan Athletic File Photo
(Image credit: Anthony Devlin)

Wigan’s administrators are confident of completing a takeover deal with one of four serious bidders in time for the club to start the new season.

The club’s administrators Begbies Traynor set a deadline of August 31 for Wigan to be sold after the club had been placed in their hands on July 1.

The Latics were subsequently relegated to Sky Bet League One after a 12-point deduction was imposed by the English Football League.

Administrator Gerald Krasner said: “I’ve got what I call the front-runners. I’ve got two different groups of Americans and I’ve got two UK bidders.

“One of the UK people has got the wherewithal to do it, but has got certain conditions, so we’re still talking to these people and I’m still somewhat optimistic that ultimately one of these deals will come to fruition.”

Wigan Athletic Supporters Club has raised £100,000 in its bid to secure the club’s future, but Krasner said it was not among the four bidders.

“I don’t know whether the local business people want to buy the club with them or not,” Krasner said. “We cannot give preference to one bidder over the other.

“But we will in my opinion start the new season. I’m confident enough to approach the EFL today to say we believe one of the bids will come to fruition.”

Krasner said that any prospective owner would need £4million to complete a takeover and that would include the DW Stadium, which has been valued at £3m, and the training ground.

“If we can sell those property assets at £4million, and that is the quoted price to everybody, the football club goes for £1.”

Dean Watson Handout Photo

Krasner says Wigan Athletic Supporters Club is not one of the bidders (Appeal PR)

Krasner added that he expected the EFL to ask the new owners for a £5m bond to cover projected club losses over the next two years of up to £2.2m.

But Krasner warned that there was still a threat the club could be liquidated.

“I must be honest and I’m talking to the fans now,” he said. “If none of the bids, including the supporters, do come to fruition, we do run out of options.

“At that stage we would have to seriously consider whether the club has a future and whether we should just sell the properties and put the club into liquidation.”

Wigan were placed into administration by owner Au Yeung Wai Kay, who has waived a total of £36million in debts owed to him by the club.

Wigan Athletic v Hull City – Sky Bet Championship – DW Stadium

Wigan finished the season strongly but the points deduction cost them their place in the Championship (PA)

Krasner confirmed this had removed the threat of a further points penalty next season and made the club a significantly more attractive proposition.

Wigan were acquired by a company owned by Dr Stanley Choi in November 2018 and subsequently sold to another company, Next Leader Fund, of which Choi held a 51 per cent shareholding and Yeung 49 per cent, in May 2020.

Yeung later bought Dr Choi’s 51 per cent interest for £20m, effectively giving him sole control of the club.

Yeung has faced allegations that he had intended to put the club in administration before he took full control, but Krasner confirmed there had been no evidence to support this.

“Mr Yeung approached Begbies Traynoron June 23, 2020, to seek advice on all of the options available to him regarding the future of the club and that no decisions were taken, nor instructions given, on that date,” the administratiors added in a separate statement.