Wigan Athletic in administration: Championship club set for 12-point deduction – BBC Sport

Wigan Athletic won the FA Cup in 2013 – the same year in which they most recently played in the Premier League

Wigan Athletic have gone into administration, becoming the first English professional club to do so since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The English Football League has said Wigan will be deducted 12 points.

The sanction will be applied at the end of this season if the Latics, 14th in the Championship, finish outside the bottom three after 46 games.

Should Wigan finish in the relegation zone, the penalty will be applied during the 2020-21 season instead.

Wigan have won all three of their league games since the resumption of the Championship season on 20 June.

Paul Cook’s side beat Stoke 3-0 at the DW Stadium on Tuesday to move eight points clear of the drop zone with six matches left to play.

Administration one month after change in ownership

Until 2018, the club was owned by Dave Whelan, who steered them from the fourth tier of English football to the Premier League in 2005, while they also won the FA Cup in 2013.

Whelan sold the club to Hong Kong-based International Entertainment Corporation in November 2018 and there was a further change of ownership in May when Next Leader Fund took control.

Paul Stanley, Gerald Krasner and Dean Watson of Begbies Traynor have been appointed as joint administrators.

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, a former chairman of Leeds United, 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.”

In May, EFL chairman Rick Parry told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee that clubs were facing a £200m financial hole by September and were “stacking up creditors”.

EFL matches were suspended in March and, while Championship fixtures resumed on 20 June, League One and Two clubs voted to curtail their seasons early, with many pinpointing financial implications as one of the reasons against returning.

‘Wigan may not be alone’ – analysis

Simon Stone, BBC Sport

Wigan are the first, but the big question is how many more clubs will enter administration as the full financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic starts to be felt?

When I interviewed Huddersfield owner Phil Hodgkinson in May, his bleak assessment was that “50 or 60” clubs could go bust.

That view was felt to be extreme. However, the brutal truth is football is being played without fans at present. That means clubs such as Manchester United are losing £5m worth of income per game. They, at least, have a massive TV deal to support them.

As you go down the pyramid, the TV income reduces massively. Can League One, League Two and the National Leagues really play to no fans? These are all full-time clubs, many of whom used the government’s furlough scheme to shield themselves.

But that option will not exist shortly. Wigan may not be alone.

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