Wigan Athletic: Administrators claim bidder pulled out due to news of lower bid on social media

Wigan Athletic have lost both of their fixtures so far this season in League One Wigan Athletic’s administrators say a principal bidder for the League One club dropped out after news spread on social media of a lower rival bid. In a statement, Begbies Traynor said an anonymous bidder was […]

Wigan Athletic have lost both of their fixtures so far this season in League One
Wigan Athletic have lost both of their fixtures so far this season in League One

Wigan Athletic’s administrators say a principal bidder for the League One club dropped out after news spread on social media of a lower rival bid.

In a statement, Begbies Traynor said an anonymous bidder was due to deposit £4m with their lawyers on 14 September.

The administrators allege they withdrew their bid in light of news emerging the day before that a £2m bid from a French-American group was turned down.

This, they say, caused other parties to turn in bids at a much lower price.

The statement went on to claim that the French-American group did in fact go on to bid £2m for the club on Friday, with the caveat that the administrators would pay £1.3m to creditors in order to avoid the club being given a 15-point penalty, but that bid was turned down.

They also warned that there is “considerable liability” to HM Revenue & Customs because of wage deferrals from the impact of coronavirus and VAT owed on player sales, while those players who have left the club were owed a month’s wages “at Championship rates”.

“Taken together with the costs of the appeal [against last season’s points deduction], the loss in administration is over £3m which has to be paid before any dividend can be paid to the unsecured creditors,” the statement added.

“That becomes an impossibility when the actual offer is only £2m. If this bid is remade it will be given very serious consideration.”

Wigan, who were relegated to League One having being given a points deduction for entering administration last season, were given permission by the English Football League to begin the 2020-21 season despite not finding a new owner in time for the start of the campaign.

Fans have crowdfunded nearly £700,000 in order to secure the club’s immediate future, having succeeded in raising an initial £500,000.

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