Wigan Athletic CEO Mal Brannigan on rugby rent and future partnership
Wigan Athletic CEO Mal Brannigan has revealed he’s ‘hopeful’ of soon reaching agreement with Warriors about a revised rental deal at the DW Stadium.
And he reiterated his desire – and that of his Warriors counterpart Kris Radlinski – to work together in the best interests of both clubs.
Radlinski, Warriors executive director, admitted at a fans’ forum last week that Latics’ new owners were raising the price, but that ongoing talks are ‘in the right spirit’.
And speaking exclusively to Wigan Today, Brannigan – who is overseeing a complete rebuild of the football club, on and off the pitch, following the takeover by Phoenix 2021 Limited in March – is pleased with the way things are progressing.
“I’d echo Kris’ comments that everything is positive so far,” he said. “Myself and Kris have a very good working relationship.
“We’re both working towards making sure Warriors and ourselves can ensure both organisations are as healthy as possible going forwards.
"The relationship is good, the discussions are ongoing, and I’m hopeful we’ll reach an agreement soon.
“That all helps because, and I’ve said this before, it’s really important as a town we have two very strong sporting clubs.
“And it makes an awful lot of sense that we play in the same stadium.
“We’re in the position where we own the stadium, that’s simply the way it is, and we need to make sure everything we do – and this goes for all our partners – is done in a very fair way.”
Radlinski revealed Warriors had spoken to Wigan Council – the owners of the land on which the DW Stadium is built – ‘to get them involved and make them aware of the situation’.
And Brannigan says the Council remains an ‘important part’ of the future of both sporting clubs, in addition to the town itself.
“I think it would be folly if we weren’t to involve the Council in anything we’re trying to do,” he acknowledged.
“They’re an important part in trying to ensure ourselves as a sporting organisation – and probably the Warriors too – are as supported as possible.
“We are publicly a reflection of the town, and we’ll always remain very mindful of that.
"The support we’ve from the Council, and also Lisa (Nandy, MP), and other stakeholders – both commercial and non-commercial – in the town has always been welcomed, and has always been forthcoming.”
When asked if the Council were involved in the rent discussions, he added: “The only discussions I’ve had regarding rent have been with Kris and Warriors.
“We haven’t sat down with the Council, although we are very mindful of their role in this, as our landlords.
“But at the same time our agreements are our agreements, and that’s the view we continue to take.”
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