The BBC have broken the news that Wigan Athletic have gone into administration, becoming the first English professional club to do so since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The BBC wrote: “Wigan have been struggling to manage their finances and say there was no alternative if they were to safeguard the club. The move may see the Championship side deducted points.”
Paul Stanley, Gerald Krasner and Dean Watson of Begbies Traynor have been appointed as joint administrators.
Stanley said: “We understand that everybody connected with the club and the wider football world is seeking clarity on the future of Wigan Athletic. That’s exactly what we are seeking to provide as we move through this process and we seek out interested parties to rescue this famous old club here in the region. It is a fast-moving situation and we will provide updates on key developments.”
Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said: “Although there is great concern for the supporters of the club and in particular those employed at Wigan Athletic FC there is a major concern that local suppliers will not be paid. The club has had an ongoing issue with debt clocking up a £9.2m loss last year. That level of debt has to be serviced and without football and ticket money coming in it is likely a cashflow crisis developed. Is this the first of many clubs to go bust? Yes. In the past Newport County, Bristol City and famously Accrington Stanley have all hit the buffers – but these are very different times and one’s heart goes out to the businesses that rely on trade with the club.”
Krasner, former chairman of Leeds United and now a partner at Begbies Traynor, said: “Our immediate objectives are to ensure the club completes all its fixtures this season and to urgently find interested parties to save Wigan Athletic FC and the jobs of the people who work for the club. Obviously the suspension of the Championship season due to Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the recent fortunes of the club. Wigan Athletic has been a focal point and source of pride for the town since 1932 and anyone who is interested in buying this historic sporting institution should contact the joint administrators directly.”
Founded in 1932, the club have played at the 25,000-seater DW stadium since 1999 when they were owened by Savid Whelan Hong Kong-based International Entertainment Corporation in November 2018. In recent years the club were valued at £23.7m by Transfer Market with a squad of 33 prefessional players lying 14th in the Championship.
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