Wigan Warriors rugby league club have expressed their interest in buying Wigan Athletic football club, who are currently in administration.
Rugby club owner Ian Lenagan, chief executive Gary Speakman and ex-Oxford chairman Darryl Eales, hope to bring both clubs under one banner.
The group has already made contact with the ailing club’s administrators.
“We strongly believe that Wigan Athletic is better being locally owned,” the Warriors statement said.
The two clubs have been under separate ownership since then Latics owner Dave Whelan sold his rugby league share to current owner/chairman Lenagan in 2007.
“As sustainability and ownership of the stadium is equally important to both clubs, we are currently working with our longstanding advisers KPMG and talking to external parties,” the statement added.
“Our intention is to identify other investors quickly and start due diligence on the football club with the intention of making a bid in due course.”
The Super League side also say there is support for the venture from David Molyneux, the leader of Wigan Council.
Latics administrator Gerald Krasner confirmed on Tuesday that an appeal has been lodged against the club’s 12-point deduction for going into administration.
He also confirmed 75 support staff were made redundant on Monday and that senior club executives have agreed to work for nothing until the situation is resolved.
A 12-point penalty would send the Latics to the bottom of the table, putting their Championship status under severe threat.
Wigan are 16th, six points above the relegation zone with five games to play.