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Wigan Athletic owner enquired about administration BEFORE takeover

Wigan Athletic owner Au Yeung Wai Kay had initially enquired about putting them into administration before he had completed his takeover, it’s reported.

He had spoke to insolvency practitioners Begbies Traynor about potentially doing so on the 23rd of June, which was just 24 hours prior to informing the English Football League that he had bought a 51% stake in the club.

A week later, they were duly declared insolvent. Now an independent commission is describing the situation Wigan are in as a “tragedy”.

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Documents shockingly revealed that Kay had failed to inform the club’s board of the plan for administration and that he forced out the then chairman Darren Royle after the board failed to agree a loan agreement to Kay’s company.

Kay was fundamentally against the restart of the Championship season, because of the coronavirus and the costs that he would incur.

The sanction, which was implemented at the end of the final round of Championship fixtures on the 22nd of July, meant that the Latics were relegated to League One.

The commission said that Wigan have been “let down by those who appear to have seen it as an opportunity for investment and profit”.

The decision to put Wigan into administration came on the same day they were told the English Football League would advance a £2.325m solidarity payment.

The Joint Administrators updated the fans, employees and people of Wigan with the current situation. It read:

1. Sale of club

We are continuing talks with various interested parties and are in discussions with four bidders regarding the sale.

We have set a deadline of 31 August 2020 to agree and sign the sale contract.

If the contract is not signed by this date, we will have to reconsider the position on the basis that the new season starts a week later. The reason for this is that we will be responsible for the team at the start of the season and the fulfilment of the fixtures.  Understandably, if no buyer is available, we do not wish to commit to something we cannot see through.

We are still hopeful that one of the bidders will be in a position to sign the contract as set out.

2. Player sales

We can confirm that in the last week, the registrations of Joe Gelhardt and Kieffer Moore have been sold to Leeds United and Cardiff City respectively. The Joint Administrators wish them all the best in the future.

There are further negotiations currently taking place regarding player sales and these will be announced when they are completed.

3. Supporters club

We would like to thank the Supporters Club for their continued financial support.

They have today agreed to advance us from their own funds the money to buy next season’s first team strip which will bear the Supporters Club logo for the beginning of the season.

4. Wages and salaries

We can confirm that the wages and salaries of all staff and current playing squad have been paid in full up to 31 July 2020.

With regards to players who have left the club, we are working to pay these as soon as we can and will be after the next player sale proceeds are received.

Fans reacted after seeing that the Wigan Athletic owner enquired about administration BEFORE the takeover…

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