Wigan Athletic FC in administration

Paul Stanley

Championship side Wigan Athletic has been placed into administration.

Administrators said the club will complete its remaining fixtures for this season, while they bid to find a buyer.

Paul Stanley, Gerald Krasner and Dean Watson from Begbies Traynor have today (July 1) been appointed as joint administrators of the club.

Wigan currently sits eight points above the relegation zone, but it faces an automatic 12-point deduction for going into administration under league rules, leaving it facing a fight for survival in its six remaining Championship games.

The deduction will be applied at the end of the current season if Wigan finishes outside the bottom three relegation places.

If the club finishes in the relegation zone, the penalty will be applied next season, in League One, instead.

Paul Stanley, North West regional managing partner of Manchester-based Begbies Traynor, 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.”

Gerald Krasner 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.”

Wigan Athletic was founded in 1932.

Last night the team beat Stoke City 3-0 at the DW Stadium, its home ground.

Earlier last month Wigan Athletic confirmed that it was under new ownership after the sale of the majority shareholdings of the Wigan Athletic Group from International Entertainment Corporation (IEC) to Next Leader Fund LP was formally completed.

The deal was ratified and approved by the shareholders of IEC, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the English Football League.

Next Leader Fund LP is a limited partnership. Mr Au Yeung Wai Kay is the general partner of the limited partnership and has many years of experience in business operations management and business leadership in Asia.

He said at the time of the announcement: “I am excited to join the Wigan Athletic family and I look forward to working with the board of directors to support the club in what is going to be an initially challenging period.

“I hope to work with the staff within the club in the future and, most importantly, I hope to meet the club’s passionate fans.

“We encourage your feedback on club matters, so please continue to help us grow and develop.

“I hope in the future to enjoy Latics games together. Be safe.”

Wigan Athletic executive director Darren Royle, son of former Everton striker and manager Joe Royle, who is also an executive director of Wigan, said in early June: “We have already faced a challenging couple of months and there are no doubt more ahead following the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The support from the owners will enable us to negate some of the immediate challenges we face.

“We now have to revive the organisation with innovative and safe ways of practice, which is something the board of directors, the senior management team and a number of staff have been planning and prioritising over the past few weeks.”