Fans' group demand more answers after Wigan Athletic response 'falls short of any meaningful assurance'
Chairman Talal Al Hammad admitted on Tuesday morning 'mistakes have been made' that have led to the late payment of wages on FIVE occasions during the last 12 months.
After finally making the outstanding payment, Al Hammad outlined his desire for the club to operate within a 'sustainable budget' from next term.
Having revealed the ownership ground had committed 'in excess of £20m' during their two years in charge, Al Hammad also confirmed there would be 'board and staff re-structures' to prevent a repeat of what he has labelled 'mismanagement'.
However, those words did little to pacify the 'Indie Latics' supporters group, who released a statement of their own calling for far more information on the situation.
"This morning, the club finally confirmed that the players wages due on 5th May had been paid," the statement read.
"The chairman offered his apologies for the delays and his assurances that money is in place to cover outgoings until budgets are agreed for next season.
"While we do not underestimate the amount of funding supplied by the ownership group over the last two seasons is not insignificant and in excess of budgets originally planned.
"This statement in itself falls well short of any meaningful assurance on the long-term security of OUR club or demonstration of his or Mr Al Jasmi’s commitment to bring the club to a stable and sustainable position.
"The chairman, both in conversations with ourselves and Wigan Today, has committed to communicating to all fans the reasons that we have ended up in this situation, through a recorded interview.
"To date that has not materialised and we, like all Latics supporters, are none the wiser about this.
"So we, once again, call on the Chairman to be good to his word and meet with either local journalists and/or fan’s representatives and, on the record, explain:
* how spending was allowed to get out of control so badly over the last two seasons;
* how, despite assurances given in March’s meeting with fan groups, wages were again delayed, less than two pay months later;
* who has been running the club on a day to day basis since the removal of Mal Brannigan from his post as CEO;
* why it has taken so long since then to raise funds to meet the wage bill;
* whether any and all other outstanding creditors have also been paid;
* what, if any, attempts were made to raise funds from alternative sources during the delay;
* whether any approaches were made to sell/purchase either in part or full a share holding in the club or associated companies;
* whether any approaches were made to sell/purchase either in part or full a share holding in the DW Stadium;
* absolute assurance that all costs required to run the club until the start of next season have been identified and that funds are in the club’s accounts to cover this;
* that processes are in place to ensure cash flow to cover budgets for next season and beyond.
"We would also like the chairman to:
* acknowledge that his approach to communication has directly contributed to levels of anger and frustration among supporters and that he needs to get better;
* commit to regular, open communications with fan representatives – including, but not restricted to, the establishment of a shadow board of fans reps that have scrutiny of, and input to, the club’s plans and strategic decision making;
* explain any other practical steps he is putting in place to repair his and Mr Al Jasmi’s reputation with supporters.
"We remain concerned about the damage the last three months have done to the club’s standing within the game.
"If fans of 30 years plus standing are considering walking away because of our current situation then how can the chairman and owner hope to attract new supporters, players and coaches?
"What use is a manager with a 5 year plan for the club if the ownership group struggles to put together a plan that covers five months of a season?
"Many supporters have already decided that this group is incapable of running a football club.
"We call on Mr Al Hammad to prove that they deserve a chance to prove otherwise."