Wigan Athletic CEO 'very hopeful of swift resolution' to wages issue - and on being in 'constant touch' with the owners
Mal Brannigan says he's 'very hopeful there will be a swift resolution to the problem' of Wigan Athletic's latest delay in the payment of wages.
And the Latics CEO offered an unreserved apology to those members of staff who, for the fourth time this campaign, have been left wondering when their money will be in the bank.
"I'm very hopeful there will be a swift resolution to the problem," said Brannigan, speaking to Wigan Today immediately after Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Burnley.
"I'm in constant touch with the chairman to see where we're up to with it, and I will keep everyone at the club informed.
"That's always been my approach and I'll continue to do that.
"And as everyone knows, we're going through an economic crisis at the moment that's impacting on everyone enormously.
"We need to deliver what we say we're going to deliver with our staff, it's as simple as that."
In the early hours of Saturday morning, the club confirmed a 'delay in meeting wage obligations' for March, which leaves them in danger of being deducted three points by the EFL.
It came just over 48 hours after Brannigan had taken part in a fans forum, where there was no mention of the forthcoming situation.
"Two days can be a very long period of time," explained Brannigan.
"Unfortunately the ownership group and the board have a history of being late on wages over the last 12 months.
"We have at times made everyone aware of what's going on, and at other times we haven't.
"Because there could be times when you're due to be paid on the Friday, where it's not there on the Wednesday, but it is there on the Thursday.
"If we follow the same patterns as we have done before, on the Wednesday of the fans' forum, my expectation is that the money will be in on the Thursday.
"If it had been something I was concerned about during the fans' forum, and asked about, I would have answered it honestly and openly.
"But it didn't become an issue until the Thursday, and what we also have to do, part of my remit, is to protect this football club at all times.
"We're not public, although we recognise the enormous duty to keep people informed about the health of their football club.
"But like with any business, there are areas where we need to make sure the information we give out protects the football club at the same time.
"If something does have a detrimental effect on the football club, I will try to limit that as much as possible as I want to look after my staff and colleagues as much as I can.
"We have to consider the football club is looked after - as well as the staff, the supporters, the ownership group, all the other stakeholders - as much as possible."
Chairman Talal Al Hammad took to social media on Saturday night to reiterate that the owners remain 'financially committed to building a stronger and more stable future' for the club..
Brannigan added: "Nobody wants to be in this position, and Talal is no different.
"I know he cares deeply about this football club.
"And I'm sure he will be very sympathetic about the situation, as we all are."
Brannigan also had a message to the fans who, for the second time in less than three years, have been worried about the future of their club.
"The overriding message would be a big apology for the impact this had had on the club in the last 24/48 hours," he said.
"I genuinely wouldn't have sat next to Shaun and in front of the fans at a fans' forum on Wednesday night, and said all the things I did about finances and accounts, if I knew this was coming.
"The money put in by Mr Al Jasmi is a significant amount of money, and you do see from that he wants to create something positive for this football club.
"For me, it's making sure we address this as quickly as possible, get to the bottom of where we are, and try to regroup.
"We have an outstanding staff here that gives me incredible support.
"And you can see the commitment levels on the field with the performance against a team flying high at the top of the Championship.
"I don't think there's anybody at the football club that gives up by nature, but we need to resolve and rectify what's happened as quickly as possible."