Wigan Athletic supporters group issue stark warning: Shape up or sell up

The newly-formed independent Wigan Athletic supporters group has issued a statement calling on the owners to 'Shape up or sell up'.
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Members of the first-team squad remain unpaid, despite pledges to pay the outstanding amounts at the earliest opportunity after the Bank Holiday weekend.

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OPINION: Clarity - and wages - needed urgently, before Wigan Athletic can look a...

The group - 'Independent Latics' - say they have spoken to chairman Talal Al Hammad on Zoom, and also had an audience with a board member - believed to be Oliver Gottmann - at Monday's game against Rotherham.

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Wigan Athletic's DW StadiumWigan Athletic's DW Stadium
Wigan Athletic's DW Stadium

With fans still in the dark about what's going on, Independent Latics have issued an update.

"As people are aware, a representative of this group spoke with the chairman on Saturday," the statement read. We appreciate that communication around this has caused anger and frustration amongst our fellow supporters.

"But other than assurances that wages would be paid, no information was provided above what was covered in the fans meeting in April.

"We have continued to press the chairman and members board to go on the record with details of the current situation leading to a meeting with a board member before Monday’s game.

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"Specific questions were asked such as, why has the money from the property sale not been used to pay wages, is the club seeking outside investment going forwards, is the owner considering selling the club and will wages be paid next week.

"The director was pretty non-specific in his answers to those questions, only to say he hoped wages would be paid next week, the club is in a unusual position financially, things should improve when some of the bigger earners leave the club this summer, he was non-committal on the issues of outside investment, selling the club and why the property sale wasn’t used to pay wages.

"The representatives left the meeting feeling no more confident of the club’s future than before they spoke to the director.

"Over the weekend, Independent Latics gained an agreement from the chairman to a zoom call, which he agreed to be recorded.

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"After internal discussions within the club, a decision was made to change this to an interview with the local paper.

"This interview has yet to happen and there are no signs of any official statements on our club’s situation.

"Obviously, we had hoped that the wages situation would have been resolved today, it hasn’t, and we implore the board to come forward and explain publicly why that is the case and what they are doing to resolve it.

"Not in a call that might happen in a day or two, but now and in terms that are clear to all supporters.

"We reiterate our message from Friday.

"Stop treating us like mugs.

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"We want a stable football club, we know that is the best way for us to have a club that our children and our children’s children can be part of.

"We believe that stable clubs, with strong, open and transparent owners, are successful football clubs.

"We are losing faith that Phoenix 2021 can bring any sort of stability to our club.

"The ball is in their court to prove otherwise.

"Shape up or sell up."

The Supporters Club also put out communication on Tuesday night.

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"WASC continues to push the owners to inform fans when the outstanding wage situation will be resolved," they said via their Twitter account.

"We have met with stakeholders including Lisa Nandy, Wigan Council and representatives from the club itself to ensure that plans are put in place to safeguard the long term future of the club.

"However, the first priority remains the wages being fully paid.

"This must be rectified urgently and we have impressed this upon the owners.

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"We can also confirm that the Scholars Host Families have been paid this evening which is a concern we raised with the board on Monday.

"We will continue to push for more information and provide more updates when we have them."

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