Supporters Club react to Wigan Athletic takeover
The Wigan Athletic Supporters Club have shared their 'relief and delight' at the takeover going through - and confirmed fans who donated to the second Crowdfunder will be refunded their money.
The fans' group were instrumental in galvanising support last summer when Latics were placed into administration by the previous owners.
They raised more than £850,000 in total to ensure Latics first of all fulfilled their fixtures last season, before creating a fighting fund to save the club should no buyer come forward.
Now the Bahrain-based consortium have received the green light, the majority of those funds will be returned to supporters.
"On behalf of everyone at Wigan Athletic Supporters Club, we would like to share our relief and delight at the news that, subject to EFL Board approval, the purchase of Wigan Athletic has been successful, and a new era can finally begin," the statement read.
"We would also like to provide the following updates for our members and for all Latics fans:
* The new owners
We have been in regular contact with representatives from the Bahraini group over recent weeks, and they have shared some of their key plans and priorities for the future of the club. Their experienced board has been very positive about forging a close relationship with the Supporters Club and the fan base as a whole, and we have been encouraged by their ambitious vision for the academy, community, and sustainable operations moving forward. We are excited to see what the future may hold.
Following conversations with the new owners, it has been agreed that the monies raised by the supporters are not a requirement of their plans in terms of investment in the football club. However, they are very keen to ensure that the voice of the supporters is represented in the rebuilding of Wigan Athletic. The second crowdfunder “Save Wigan Athletic”, which raised a current total of £656,620, was established in order to secure a stake in, or takeover of the club should a buyer not be found. These monies have played an essential role in enabling the Supporters Club to retain an overview and governance of the administration of Wigan Athletic and we are very grateful that we have been able to do this. Now, with the new owners in place and the Supporters Solution no longer required, it is the right thing to do to refund these monies to the fans who donated. We will release details of the refund process in due course. The first crowdfunder raised £202,511 in order to ensure that we were able to fulfill the fixtures of the 2019-20 season. These funds were subsequently loaned to the administrators to assist with covering costs relating to complete the season. We have formal assurance from Begbies Traynor that these funds will be returned to the Supporters Club once all aspects of the purchase are finalised. As these donations are non-refundable, in the coming weeks the Supporters Club will consult supporters regarding the next steps for how these funds can be used to aid the rebuild of our Football Club. Follow our social media channels for further updates on how you can have your say.
Throughout the events of the past year, we are proud that Latics fans have shown what the power of a united group of supporters can achieve. We are proud that we were able to play a part in safeguarding the future of Wigan Athletic. Now, the Supporters Club aims to continue its work alongside the club, the EFL and the FSA, to ensure that questions and views from the fans continue to be represented. We will do everything we can to promote the benefits of fan-representation at the highest level of the game. We will work to protect our football club, and to safeguard against our experiences of 2020 ever happening to our club – or to any other club – again. As part of this vision we would like to invite any supporters who wish to join the Supporters Club committee, to send a short CV to FAO WASC Secretary, C/O DW Stadium, Loire Drive, Wigan. Application forms will be sent to all interested parties prior to our AGM in August 2021. Together we believe that we can continue to make a difference, we can play a part in safeguarding the future of Wigan Athletic, and we can secure a voice for supporters in the future of the team and the game we love.
A message from the committee
Above all else we’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our members and the wider fan base for your incredible support, throughout what has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone involved with the club. Together we refused to let our club die. Now we hope that all Latics fans can celebrate the takeover, unite in support of our new owners, and look forward with hope for the rest of 2020/21 and beyond …
Up The New Era Tics!
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