Wigan Athletic enters administration following COVID crisis

Credit: Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport

Wigan Athletic has become the first English club in the top four divisions to go into administration since the global health pandemic began with the EFL deducting the Championship side 12 points.

The club’s point deduction will take into effect dependent on the first team’s finish. If the side are naturally relegated then the deducted points will be carried over until the 2020/21 campaign. However if the team finishes outside of the top three then the deduction will occur in the current season. 

Paul Stanley, Gerald Krasner and Dean Watson of Begbies Traynor have been appointed as joint administrators whilst the club goes through this financial uncertainty.

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.”

Krasner added: “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.”

The Championship club had only recently been taken over in May when Next Leader Fund took control of the side from the Hong Kong-based International Entertainment Corporation. However, due to the financial challenges that many clubs have faced due to the postponement of campaigns, which has severely affected sponsorships and other commercial contracts, Wigan is the first club to announce serious financial difficulties. 

If the deduction was to be applied now then Wigan would be bottom of the Championship, four points off safety. Meaning that as the club goes into its final six games, every victory could determine the club’s immediate fate.