Wigan Athletic ownership change nearing completion

The handover of power at Wigan Athletic is nearing completion, as talks with the proposed new backers enter an advanced stage.

Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 4:06 pm
Stanley Choi

International Entertainment Corporation, who bought the club from the Whelan family in October 2018, are handing over control to a partner group owned by its chairman Stanley Choi.

More should become clear after an IEC emergency general meeting, which has been called for May 28.

The proposed new man at the helm would be Au Yeung Wai Kay, who has ‘extensive youth development experience’ in football – a seemingly perfect fit given Latics’ burgeoning academy set-up.

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In a statement on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, IEC say he also possesses “relevant experience in business operations management and business leadership, as he has worked in commodity and real estate investment management in Asia".

The switch comes as Latics executive chairman Darren Royle highlighted the ‘crucially important’ support IEC have provided during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite taking advantage of the government’s furlough scheme for non-playing staff, Royle says the club has ‘lost a significant amount of income’ during ‘ a difficult time for all clubs’.

“It’s crucially important to have that support (from the owners),” acknowledged Royle. “It’s obviously a very uncertain time for them as well, over in Hong Kong.

“They’re going through a tough time, as we are.

“As far as the support we’ve received from the owners...financially, we couldn’t get by monthly without that.

“They’ve continued to pledge their financial support and help us through this period, and we’re thankful to those parties for their support.”