Wigan Athletic admin defends '£1.9million fees'

Paul Stanley has defended the fees his administration firm is charging Wigan Athletic – already at £1.3million, and expected to grow to up to £1.9million by completion – as ‘just a numerical formula’.
Paul Stanley at the DW StadiumPaul Stanley at the DW Stadium
Paul Stanley at the DW Stadium

Latics seemingly remain as far away from a successful takeover as they have at any point since they were placed into administration on July 1.

The Far East-group fronted by Wigan-born businessman Tony Frampton – which had been in pole position after the Spanish bid collapsed at the beginning of the month – officially pulled out of the race on Wednesday morning, frustrated at the lack of progress being made.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And the latest creditors report from the administrators – providing an overview of the period between July 1 to December 31 – could not have been more ill-timed.

Nevertheless, Stanley provided a robust defence of his firm’s practice, in the face of widespread anger from the club’s fanbase – insisting the money is not even coming out of club coffers.

“The admin fees at Wigan Athletic are not being paid by the football club – they never have been,” he said.

“The only reason we agreed to take the case on is because we were getting paid by third-party funds. It’s not costing the club a penny, so I don’t understand why that is an issue to anybody.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“In this case, it’s a company outside the UK football group, which is a property company. Their only creditor was the guys in Hong Kong who put the money in to start with. They are the only shareholders.

“So the only recipient of monies from the property company are the guys in Hong Kong, and as part of the deal we did with them – when we were looking at the events that took place before the administration – it was agreed those monies could be used to cover the costs of the administration, including the fees of ourselves and our lawyers.

“That money could only ever have gone back to Hong Kong, it was never, ever coming back to the football club.”

When asked to justify the exorbitant figures involved – which represents a staggering average rate of £370.86 per hour – Stanley remained on the front foot.

“It’s just a numerical formula isn’t it?” he argued.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I’ve been working on this now for more than six months, as have my two partners, with a team of staff.

“We’re running a football club, we’re looking at many, many bids who want to buy the football club.

“I’ve not had a holiday since July 1, I worked all through Christmas, as did Dean Watson, and that is the number of hours that have been spent on it.

“And as I say, if you’re not paying for it, I don’t really understand why you’d have an opinion on it.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Despite the Frampton group becoming the latest high-profile bidder to pull out, Stanley remains confident of a successful outcome.

“It’s better than it was a couple of months ago,” he told talkSPORT.

“The people who are interested now are at least people who are seriously interested.

“There are at least five bids that are very serious, and 11 in total who are still in and around the data room, providing us with information that we can get through the EFL.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He also lifted the lid on the difference between trying to find a buyer for Latics – in the public eye – and his usual dealings with ‘normal’ businesses in this situation.

“The day-to-day involvement is the same – it’s numbers and finding a buyer for the business,” he added.

“In terms of the spotlight and the pressure you’re under – and the daily scrutiny from people who actually aren’t that educated, but seem to have the biggest opinions – I personally find quite difficult.

“It’s not what I’m trained to do, I’m not a media personality, and I find some of this quite intrusive on certain individuals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It does add to the pressure you’re under, but that’s life and you get on with it.”

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here and viewing our offers ...