Far East consortium in talks to buy Wigan Athletic

David Sharpe (left) and Dave Whelan
David Sharpe (left) and Dave Whelan

A wealthy Chinese group has emerged as an interested party in buying in Wigan Athletic.

Dave Whelan, who has owned the club since 1995, has been open to a buy-out for some time.

And a Far East consortium is thought to have lodged an interest.

The identity of the prospective buyers has been kept secret.

It is understood talks have taken place and more discussions are planned - though they have not advanced as far as some have suggested.

The Whelan family has no pressing need to sell the club.

But football clubs are expensive to run and if an offer materialises - and is accepted - it raises the prospect of Latics being under new ownership for the first time in more than 20 years.

Whelan bought Wigan Athletic in 1995 and, a decade later and in a new stadium, he fulfilled his ambition of guiding them to the Premier League.

In 2013, the year they were relegated, Latics won the FA Cup at Wembley.

The former JJB Sports supremo handed the chairman's seat to his grandson, David Sharpe, two years ago.

Since then, Latics won promotion to the Championship but were relegated 12 months later.

But under new manager Paul Cook, they have enjoyed a sparkling start to this League One campaign and moved top of the ladder with a 3-0 home win against Southend last Saturday.