Lisa Nandy 'reassured' after Wigan Athletic admin chat

Local MP Lisa Nandy insists she remains ‘optimistic and reassured’ about Wigan Athletic’s future – after a hugely positive discussion with the club’s administrators.
Lisa Nandy MPLisa Nandy MP
Lisa Nandy MP

The Latics rollercoaster ride appeared to be heading south again yesterday after the Far East consortium – fronted by Wigan-born businessman Tony Frampton – dramatically pulled out.

And the mood among the Latics fanbase wasn’t helped when Paul Stanley went on talkSPORT to justify the administrators' near-£2million fees – and walked into more controversy by referring to ‘the daily scrutiny from people who actually aren’t that educated, but seem to have the biggest opinions’.

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Ms Nandy herself was on national radio yesterday, telling LBC of her ‘frustration’ at the ongoing Latics situation.

But that appearance was followed by a phone call from the administrators – who have done much to raise her spirits in terms of a successful resolution.

“I have been getting increasingly frustrated, because a lot of the bidders have been in touch over the last few weeks, saying they were finding it very difficult to deal with the administrators, and it was very slow progress,” she told Wigan Today.

“I have just spoken to the administrators and they told me they were optimistic there will be some real progress soon.

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"Obviously the process is confidential, a few of the bidders don’t want to be out in the public domain.

“But it does sound like they have a number of bidders who are serious, and fairly far along with the process.

“They mentioned a few in particular, and it sounds as though they are working very closely with the EFL as well.

“It does seem like they’ve taken on board the concerns we raised about exclusivity, and are taking steps to make sure the process is conducted more quickly.

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“They’re speaking to the Supporters Club on a daily basis, and it seems to be much more of a working partnership to find a resolution to this than we’ve seen in the past.

“Although I still won’t feel totally confident until we’ve got the new owners inside the stadium – with the best intentions for Wigan Athletic - I do feel far more reassured by the conversation.

“And now it’s all about getting a deal done.”

The Frampton bid had been thought to be in pole position, but the group were unable to persuade the administrators they had the necessary funds.

“I think the admins are more mindful of the EFL process this time, and the difficulties that could be thrown up by very complex bids, or where people don’t produce sufficient proof of funds,” Ms Nandy revealed.

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“They told me they couldn’t progress with the Frampton bid because they couldn’t verify proof of funds.”

Stanley reiterated yesterday that 11 bidders remain in the process, with ‘five bids that are very serious’ – leaving Ms Nandy’s glass half-full.

“There are apparently more interested parties involved than there were last summer,” she added.

“They suspect that may be because, with the vaccine, things are perhaps beginning to start to look a little bit more stable long-term, although I appreciate it’s still unpredictable at the moment.

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“But if more bidders have come forward, it’s possibly because, as the administrators are right in saying, this club is a bargain.

“I know from discussions with bidders there are potential foreign owners interested, potential British owners interested, and the Supporters Club ‘Plan B is still very much a possibility too.”

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