£500,000 loss was due to heavy investment, reveals Lenagan

Ian Lenagan covered the loss from his own wealth
Ian Lenagan covered the loss from his own wealth

WIGAN predict to break even this year after a string of heavy investments saw them drop into the red.

Accounts filed with Companies House report a pre-tax loss of nearly half a million pound for the year ending November 2014.

Chairman and owner Ian Lenagan said the deliberate move was “money well spent” as it upgraded facilities and strengthened the business.

Warriors’ income during that period, of £6.3m, was only slightly down on the previous year, when Wigan made a six-figure profit.

Lenagan said: “The loss reflects the investment we’ve made, and not a loss of trading.

“There’s nothing unexpected about it, and it was money well spent.

“Look at Central Park, the facility at Orrell, the extra investment in the gym, the TV studio.. there were a range of investments to improve facilities and help grow the business.”

Lenagan said he told shareholders – who own 11 per cent of the club – beforehand, and he plugged the £492,209 deficit from his own pocket.

“In the last six years of ownership we had five of making a profit, and one of loss,” he added.

“We can forecast what’s going to happen this year and, depending how the season finishes, we should break even.

“We may even make a small profit.”

The club’s income this year will be boosted by around £100,000 if they finish the season top of the Super League ladder.

The prize money for winning the league leaders’ shield was doubled this year, from £50,000.

A club also receives prize money for winning the Grand Final.

Warriors, second in the ladder, will need to beat Castleford on Friday night – and hope Huddersfield topple Leeds – to finish the 30-round campaign in the No.1 spot.

Meanwhile, Wigan Under-19s will be able to call on home advantage in their Grand Final against St Helens.

The decider will be the curtain-raiser to Friday’s Super League match between Warriors and Castleford.

Matty Peet’s men earned the right to stage the game after finishing top of the table, six points clear of second-placed Saints.

But they would have had to surrender home advantage if the DW Stadium was unavailable, as the RFL won’t allow Orrell - their regular home - to be used for the final.

Club rugby director Kris Radlinski said: “The DW Stadium is used throughout the year by both ourselves and Wigan Athletic and we are thankful to Dave Whelan for allowing us to give our Under 19s side this once in a lifetime experience.”

The Warriors Under 19s, playing in their seventh Grand Final in eight years, will look to defend the title they won last year at Warrington.

They beat the Wolves 46-16 on Sunday to book their place in the final against St Helens, who beat Hull FC 34-14 in the other semi-final.

The Under-19s final kicks-off at 5.15pm, with the first-team game starting at 8pm.