New Wigan Athletic owners offer more security, explains Kieran Maguire

A leading football finance expert believes there is "a lot to be positive about" the prospective new Wigan Athletic owners.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 9:13 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 9:14 am
New owners are expected to be in place by the end of this month

Bahraini-funded Phoenix 2021 announced on Monday night it had struck a deal with administrators to buy the League One club, subject to EFL Board approval.

The UK-based company is headed by Bahrain's Abdulrahman Al-Jasmi and lists Richard Bramwell, Latics' finance director since 2013, as well as computer expert Tom Markham and former Dundee United chief Mal Brannigan among its other directors.

Wigan Athletic were plunged into administrators by their Hong Kong-based previous owners last July but academic Kieran Maguire, who co-hosts the Price of Football podcast and has written a book with the same title, believes the new board offers more security.

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"The EFL are right to be very cautious given what happened last year," he told BBC Five Live.

"There is a lot to be positive about because the people who are involved would be more concerned their reputational damage from being involved in a Wigan Athletic that did not deliver in terms of the commitments of the new owners, and that gives us a slight bit more confidence and a guarantee.

"The company was formed a couple of months ago, a Bahrain-based owner is the main man, but we have experience in the form of an Irish investor and we also have Tom Markham with a good track record in the football business. They can bring a bit of gravitas to the table.

"The previous owner had never been to Wigan, his rationale behind buying the club was never explained, and so he had less to lose."