French-Americans must up bid - Wigan Athletic admin

Gerald Krasner insists the door remains open to the French-American group interested in buying Wigan Athletic - but only if they meet the £4million asking price.
Gerald KrasnerGerald Krasner
Gerald Krasner

The administrators released an extraordinary statement on Monday detailing the events leading up to the consortium - fronted by Oostende CEO Gauthier Ganaye, and backed by American financiers Randy Frankel and Michael Kalt - pulling out of negotiations.

According to the admins, the public nature of their bidding also led to another interested party pulling out of a £4million that would have been accepted.

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And in his weekly Q&A with Supporters Club representative Barry Worthington, Krasner insists the sale of the club could - and should - already have been sorted by now.

"Everybody has called me a liar on this, but I am an officer of the court and I cannot lie as I would be hauled before the courts," he said.

"I had a bidder that I met, I had physically gone somewhere to meet, they are very rich, let’s just say that money was not the problem.

"They were going to bid just under £4million but were going to put £4million into their solicitor's account.

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"I spoke to their solicitor who said he’d got instructions on Monday, he’d given his bank account details to them, he said to me they had to have complete anonymity and, until their bid was accepted by the EFL, they were not going to go public.

"There was a very good reason for this which I cannot disclose.

"These people have got professionals monitoring the websites and social media to see what’s going on.

"On Monday morning, I got a phonecall from their agent saying they were having a rethink due to the publicity, and they never transferred the money.

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"They’ve now gone, and definitely not in the bidding and not coming back.

"You can imagine how I felt, they had the contract, they said if we put the money in can we have exclusivity.

"I said no because there are other contracts out but once the money is in they are ready to sign the contract.

"That was the leading bid of three at the time."

Krasner also explained the financial figures that mean any offer below the asking price is unlikely to be considered.

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"What do we owe? We have written off £25million (owed to Hong Kong), so the best estimate is £5.2million at the moment," he said.

"Which is why 25p in the pound is £1.3million (which must be paid to creditors to avoid a 15-point penalty from the EFL).

"The absolute cost depends on whether they are paying the creditors or not, this is explained in the discussion about the American bid previously.

"It's £4million with the creditors paid by us, or £2.7 million and the new owners pay the creditors themselves.

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"If the Americans want to bring that bid back and would deal with the creditors themselves I’m telling you it would be seriously looked at.

"They either up their bid by £1.3million or, if they’re tied for cash on day one, the best thing to do is offer me £2.7million and pay the creditors £1.8m (35p in the pound) over three years, roughly - but that incurs a 15-point penalty."

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