Local group 'at EFL stage' of Wigan Athletic takeover race

A local-based consortium believe they are serious contenders to take control of Wigan Athletic after providing proof of funds to the EFL’s solicitors.

Saturday, 6th March 2021, 1:31 pm
The DW Stadium

The group, who have been in negotiations with the administrators for some time, are challenging the Bahrain-based consortium, who have been frontrunners since January.

They feel they have, in principle, a deal on the table, with the EFL in possession of their 37-page document that details how they would build a sustainable model to run the club.

The proposed chairman, who is understood to live 35 minutes from the DW, would be leading an experienced and award-winning football senior management team.

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“They’ve seen a lot in the media recently about the uncertainty surrounding the club,” said a source close to the group.

“And they want to let Wigan fans know there’s a local-based consortium, with a very strong professional experienced sports business management team that want to implement a fan-centric and community-engaged football club, bringing all the stakeholders together to make Wigan as good as Wigan can be.

“They understand the process, they understand why admins and EFL need to do the due diligence.

“But they believe they’re in a very strong position to take over the football club.”

It’s understood the group have yet to open dialogue with the town’s rugby league team, who they see as ‘key partners’ moving forward.

However, the group are insistent on retaining total control over the DW Stadium, which they believe is a ‘prize asset’ - central to the future sustainability of the football club.

“Willingness to work with the rugby league team is paramount,” added the source.

“The group believes everyone coming together is stronger, and Wigan will be better as a town for it.

“At the same time, one of the big strengths of the football club is the stadium, and its geographical location, in terms of running other events and conferences.

“It’s a prize asset, and the ability to monetise it from outside opportunities will ultimately make the football club more competitive on the field.”

The group is also keen to point out Saul Loggenberg - the South African businessman currently banned from being a UK company director - is acting as a transactor for the potential new owners.

"His expertise is in insolvency and administration while bringing together takeovers, and he would not be afforded any official role at the club,” confirmed the source.

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