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Wigan's administrators to begin investigation into takeover

"Efrain Quarles" (2020-07-28)


Wigan Athletic's administrators are expecting to unearth the ‘incredible' financial details that brought the Championship club to its knee within weeks.

Gerald Krasner, one of three administrators, confirmed that there is no prospect of Wigan's owners, Next Leader Fund, putting ‘one penny' in after only purchasing the club last month.

Krasner promised to begin an investigation into the takeover and sudden financial peril within a fortnight, which could result in litigation.  

EFL Championship club Wigan Athletic entered administration on Wednesday

Wigan face a 12-point deduction, which would move them to the foot of the league table

Former Wigan owner Dave Whelan, pictured with the FA Cup in 2013, will be contacted to help

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International Entertainment Corporation, fronted by professional poker player Stanley Choi, sold their stake for £17.5million last month.

The change in ownership, between two companies in Hong Kong that appear linked, includes a loan of £28.77million made to Wigan at an interest rate of eight per cent that could rise to 20 per cent if payments are defaulted.

‘There will be a lot of incredible things that come out when we get into the paperwork,' Krasner said. 

‘That (investigation) won't wait until we've sold the club, that will start when I know that we can finish the season and we've got the non-disclosure letters out.'

The Latics face a 12-point deduction from the EFL, to be issued this season or next dependant on their league finish, and are scrambling for new buyers and hope to garner 30 interested parties.  

Former Leeds Utd chairman Gerald Krasner has been tasked with finding investment for Wigan

Wages are due on Friday, of which 25 per cent is understood to have been deferred.

Krasner could not guarantee those will be honoured when asked on Thursday morning.

The club are thought to need in the region of £6m for ongoing costs, which is likely to include deferred tax to HMRC in the coming months.

Krasner stressed '75 per cent' confidence they would be able to fulfil the remaining six league fixtures, with Paul Cook's side now effectively four points adrift of safety given the impending 12-point penalty.

‘If we don't solve it and sell it, yes, it is as bad as Bury,' Krasner added.

‘The ultimate sanction is liquidation. 

‘I think four weeks (from takeover to administration) is a record which will stand for some time.

I don't think coronavirus helps. Whether that made the owner's decision not to put money in, I don't know.

‘It's my personal view that there are a number of clubs in the lower divisions, Leagues One and Two, that may not survive by coming back. 

‘There's possibly at least one Championship club that may seriously be thinking about (administration).'

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