Administrators return £170,000 initial fans' effort
Wigan Athletic's administrators have confirmed the return of more than £170,000 to the Supporters Club following the successful takeover by Phoenix 2021 Limited.
The money relates to the initial fundraising effort, which was to provide a fund to cover wages, travel, accommodation and other 'essential operating costs of the club' that were required to fulfil last season's final fixtures.
It is NOT related to the secondary Crowdfunder, which was to provide a 'Plan B' backdrop, and which has been refunded to individual donors this week.
In a letter addressed to the Supporters Club, the administrators detail the return of the 'soft loan' and confirm the club will 'avoid further points deductions and a more punitive transfer embargo'.
"As you will recall, at the start of the administration we had insufficient funding available to us to pay essential operating costs of the club," the letter read.
"One of the key objectives determined on our appointment was to complete the 2019/20 season to avoid any further points deductions or financial penalties for the club.
"As we had insufficient funding available, we required assistance to pay essential costs such as travel and accommodation to away fixtures, stewards wages, personal protective equipment and other emergency costs required to run the club and maintain fixtures.
"Since the date of our appointment, we have had positive dialogue with the Official Supporters Club and supporters were desperate to help to save the club.
"The Official Supporters Club were proactive in their efforts to raise funds to cover these costs and raised over £170,000 in a very short period.
"When these funds were made available to the club, we pledged that if the business and assets of the club were sold, and funds allowed, then we would treat the monies as a 'soft loan' and repay them.
"The fundraiser provided a platform for the club to reach the end of the season, pay football creditors in full and to find a buyer.
"Following the successful sale of the club, the administrators are pleased to report that:
• Football creditors of over £7 million have been paid in full
• Trading costs in the Administration have been or will shortly be paid in full.
• Sufficient funds have been reserved to pay a minimum of 25p/£ to non-football creditors as per the agreement with the EFL to allow the Football Share to be transferred to the new owners and to avoid further points deductions and a more punitive transfer embargo
• As pledged, no administrators’ fees have been or will be paid by the club.
"We are delighted to confirm that the sum of £171,390 has been transferred to the Official Supporters Club to repay the loan made to the club whilst in administration.
"We would like to place on record our thanks to the supporters who provided funds to allow the club to be rescued.
"We would also like to thank Caroline Molyneux and Mick Wimsey for their many, many hours of hard work, support and commitment to rescuing the club in a very difficult and challenging period.
"We hope that this will be rewarded with a period of stability and progression for the club going forward."