Wigan Athletic CEO reacts to financial results which show losses of £7.7million

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Mal Brannigan says Wigan Athletic's latest set of financial results - which included a headline loss of £7.7million - underline the commitment of the club's owners.

The figures are for the year ending June 30, 2022, which cover Latics' League One title-winning campaign.

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Overall turnover was £8.3million, made up of £2.2million from EFL distributions and Premier League solidarity, £2.2million ticket sales, £1.1million commercial and sponsorship activities, with the remainder coming from retail, stadium hire fees, match streaming and academy grants.

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Mal Brannigan, flanked by Dr Tom Markham (left) and Talal Al Hammad (right)Mal Brannigan, flanked by Dr Tom Markham (left) and Talal Al Hammad (right)
Mal Brannigan, flanked by Dr Tom Markham (left) and Talal Al Hammad (right)

Administrative expenditure was £18million, almost three-quarters of which were salary costs of £13million - 156 per cent of the total income.

There was a profit on player trading of £2.8million - thanks largely to the sell-on clause payable when Dan Burn left Brighton for Newcastle.

The figures are all a huge jump from the previous year's accounts - but that was because the company had only been formed part way through that period.

"The top-line figures are, compared to last year's figures, a complete anomaly," explained Brannigan.

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"A new company, in effect only trading from March 2021, so our first set of figures for Phoenix 2021 were really only for a few months.

"We then had a full year of trading within League One, which is what the set of figures just released cover.

"What fans will see is obviously significant losses - but that is reflective of the level of investment Mr Al Jasmi, through EPIC, has put into the football club.

"Our turnover is okay, but I don't think the turnover figure for the football club has ever been brilliant, compared to its competitors within the same division.

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"What you see with the numbers is a really strong showing from Mr Al Jasmi with regards to his commitment to the football club - not only over that period but where we are at the moment.

"The numbers published are very much in line with what was budgeted for.

"When Phoenix 2021 had to submit its business plan, and its plans in general, to the EFL, to show that it would be a good owner of Wigan Athletic, we had to show over a number of years what the plan would look like.

"We went up to the end of 2024 as a minimum, with a commitment to funding for that length of time.

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"And the figures that have just been released are in line with what was planned, along with some of the decisions that were made within that time period.

"We invested heavily in the transfer window ahead of the 2021/22 season.

"We then invested again in the window of January 2022, based on where we were in the table, because we felt strategically it was important to give support to the team, and give them the best possible chance of promotion.

"Thankfully that reaped its rewards in terms of the team winning promotion to the Championship.

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“Given the multi-year nature of playing contracts, and the incentives placed in them based on divisional success, the financial results for the year ending June 2023 are forecast to show a significant increase in the operating loss made during this period although this will be very much dependent on the club’s divisional status.

"On the assumption that the team will continue to be playing in the Championship, the 2024 accounts are expected to report a further loss, but reduced, in comparison to 2023, through a combination of increased income and reduced operating and staffing costs, with the trend of reducing losses in the future financial years.”

The Latics CEO also confirmed Latics are still working within the framework established - with the EFL's guidance - as the club came out of administration.

"We do have spending restrictions, or guidelines, related to the business plan we gave to the EFL," he added.

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"If we deviate from that enormously, we need to give a good reason why.

"That makes a lot of sense, especially when it comes down to funding going forward.

"Our conversations as a board since then have been very much in line with what we agreed to do."