Wigan Athletic fans call for EFL support and investigation

Wigan Athletic are at risk of relegation from the Championship

Wigan Athletic’s official supporters’ club has written to the Football League to demand a “full investigation” into how the club is in administration.

The Latics went into administration on 1 July, four weeks after they were bought from one Hong Kong-based company.

The company is part-owned by poker player Stanley Choi, who is also chairman of the group selling the club.

Wigan Athletic Supporters’ Club also called for financial help from the EFL.

Since the announcement that the club had entered administration, various rumours have surfaced, including one EFL chairman Rick Parry recounted to a fan, that Wigan had been the subject of a bet to get relegated – once their 12-point penalty is applied they will drop to the bottom of the table.

Local MP Lisa Nandy and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham have written to the EFL to ask for an inquiry and now the Wigan Athletic Supporters Club is adding to the pressure.

“We are writing to the EFL to request that they make a formal statement acknowledging that a full investigation into the events surrounding Wigan Athletic being placed into administration is required before they consider whether the sanction placed on our football club may need to be reviewed,” said WASC.

“More importantly, we request that you then commit to a full review of the EFL “Owners and Directors Test” to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

“The details of this case are subject to widespread sharing of facts and rumours alike and we are not here to go into the details of the scandalous information that has surfaced about the takeover of our football club.

“However, we are absolutely clear that our motives in writing this letter are to ensure that this is never allowed to happen again to another EFL club and to ensure the survival of Wigan Athletic Football Club.

“Indeed, the EFL Appendix 3 states that its intention is to “protect the image and integrity of the league and its competitions, the wellbeing of the clubs, and the interests of all of the stakeholders in those clubs”.

“In this case, it is inherently clear that the test has failed to do the role for which it was intended.”

The administrators are attempting to cover a £6m shortfall in income, which was supposed to arrive from Hong Kong to pay last month’s wages but never appeared.

Manager Paul Cook and his squad were not paid on Friday as scheduled but still travelled to Brentford, where they were beaten 3-0, and have vowed to complete the season.

The club play their first game at the DW Stadium since they went into administration on 8 July, when they entertain QPR.

“We would like to urgently request financial support from the EFL to secure the future of our football club whilst a suitable buyer is found,” said WASC.

“We desperately require assistance in paying the hard-working staff behind the scenes who are making sure the club can fulfil its fixtures for the remainder of the season.

“Whilst our situation was not caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we now find ourselves unable to secure income from gate receipts due to the pandemic restrictions which is exacerbating our financial issues.

“We would therefore appeal to the EFL to utilise its covid impact funding to support Wigan Athletic Football Club in this case.”