Sad news coming out of the world of football today. Championship side Wigan Athletic have gone into administration. They have done so due to the impact of Covid-19 started to be felt by lower league teams especially. With no match day money becoming a big strain.
The English Football League (EFL) have said they will hand down a 12-point deduction to the club. However, when this penalty comes into play is still unclear. Wigan currently sit 14th in the Championship. They had a huge 3-0 last night against fellow strugglers Stoke City. Wigan currently have 50 points and are eight points clear of the relegation zone. They also have six games remaining.
If they are relegated by on field results the 12-point deduction will be applied before the start of their 2021 League One campaign. If they stay out of the drop zone this season that deduction will be added to their final points tally at the end of this season. This will very likely relegate the club down to League One anyway. If the sanctions came into place at the time of writing it would see Wigan drop to the bottom of the table and four points adrift.
The club have been appointed three administrators. They are Paul Stanley, Begbies Taylor and Gerald Krasner. With Krasner pointing out the current pandemic has been a disaster for the club’s finances.
Talking on the matter 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.”
The EFL have also released a statement. In it they have said “The EFL is awaiting formal notification from the administrators and once the league has received this it will commence discussions with the relevant individuals with the aim of achieving a long-term future for the club.”
The club have recorded a net loss of £9.2 in their most recent annual accounts. A big loss but still an increase of £1.5 from the previous year.
JJB Sports co-founder Dave Whelan owned the club from February 1995 until November 2018. He bought the club when they were a division three team.
During his time the club became a regular fixture in the Premier League from the 2005/06 season until the 2012/13 season. They also won the FA Cup back in 2013. Upsetting Manchester City 1-0 in the final with a late Ben Watson goal at Wembley. This was the same season they got relegated. They did drop down to League One in 2015 but went straight back up.
Whelan decided to sell the club in late 2018. He sold to Hong Kong based International Entertainment Corporation (IEC). Ownership changed once again this year back in May. IEC gave ownership to Next Leader Fund.
Wigan are currently managed by Paul Cook. Cook managed League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers for five years.
It’s always sad to hear this type of worrying news about any club. Sadly, due to Covid-19 they may not be the last club to face this type of situation.
It would be awful to see a club with the history of Wigan forced to the wall. Especially with them two years shy of their 90th anniversary.