Wigan go into administration and join the Championship relegation scrap
- Credit: PA
Wigan Athletic have gone into administration and – facing a 12 point deduction – have subsequently been dragged into the Championship relegation fight.
The sanction will be applied at the end of this season if the Latics, currently 14th in the Championship, finish outside the bottom three. Paul Cook’s men are currently eight points clear of the drop zone following an impressive run of form either side of the coronavirus break (W6 D3 L0, seven successive clean sheets).
However, should they finish in the drop zone before the deduction – a scenario which looks unlikely – the penalty would be applied during the 2020/21 season in League One instead.
Just four point currently separates the current bottom six in the Championship, Luton, Barnsley and Huddersfield in the relegation zone with Hull, Stoke and Middlesbrough just above them.
Ipswich Town already know which three teams will be joining them in League One from below. Northampton Town beat Exeter City in the League One play-off final after Crewe, Swindon and Plymouth claimed automatic promotion on a points per game model.
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Dave Whelan, who steered Wigan from the fourth tier of English football to the Premier League and an FA Cup, 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.
Joint administrator Gerald 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.
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“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.”
Speaking recently, Huddersfield owner Phil Hodgkinson said: “There is an absolutely real, stark probability that if something isn’t agreed now within football to ensure all clubs can pay their bills and get through to the point where income is resumed, you will be looking at 50 or 60 clubs ceasing to exist. Genuinely, I am talking about that many.”