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Wigan return to League One after unsuccessful points deduction appeal

Wigan Athletic v West Ham United – Emirates FA Cup – Fourth Round – DW Stadium
(Image credit: Anthony Devlin)

Wigan will play in Sky Bet League One next season after failing in their appeal to get a 12-point deduction for going into administration overturned.

The Latics went into administration on July 1 when their new Hong Kong-based owners, the Next Leader Fund, said they could not support the club financially and their relegation from the Championship – due to the points deduction – was confirmed on Tuesday.

An EFL statement confirmed: “An independent arbitration panel has ruled that Wigan Athletic’s 12-point deduction for entering administration last month will stand after dismissing the club’s appeal against the sporting sanction.

“The decision of the arbitration panel is final and legally binding.

“The reason for this approach was due to the administration taking place after the fourth Thursday in March.

“In such circumstances EFL regulations state that, in the event a club is relegated by virtue of their final position following the conclusion of the league campaign, then the deduction would apply in the following season.

“As the club was not in the relegation places following the last round of Championship fixtures, the sanction was then applied to their 2019-20 total which resulted in a 23rd-placed finish.

“In cases of insolvency, the panel does not determine the timing of the sanction as it can in independent disciplinary proceedings.”

Wigan finished 13th in the Sky Bet Championship after losing just one of their final 15 games, winning eight.

But the decision will see them finish 23rd after boss Paul Cook quit last week to leave the Latics searching for a new manager.

“The club put forward a strong case and naturally we are disappointed at the decision,” a Wigan statement read.

Paul Cook File Photo

Paul Cook quit Wigan last week (Martin Rickett/PA)

“The first-team management will now prepare the team for next season’s Sky Bet League One campaign.”

The appeal was held on Friday where, in a five-point statement, it was revealed that one of the administrators, Gerald Krasner, held an hour-long video meeting with Wigan owner Au Yeung Wai Kay as part of their investigation into the club’s situation.

Joint administrators Krasner and Paul Stanley both gave witness statements and were cross-examined by the tribunal.

It was also revealed that “detailed talks” with bidders over the sale of the club were to continue this week.