Wigan Athletic takeover deal 'doable in a fortnight'

Co-administrator Paul Stanley believes a successful resolution to Wigan Athletic's search for a new owner is 'doable' within the next fortnight.

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 2:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 2:27 pm
Paul Stanley

The French-American consortium - fronted by Oostende CEO Gauthier Ganaye, with the funds of US financiers Randy Frankel and Michael Kalt - appears to remain the most likely outcome.

This despite them only bidding for the football club and its Christopher Park training complex - and not the DW Stadium - which makes them 'not serious bidders' in the opinion of co-administrator Gerald Krasner.

Nevertheless, Stanley says all parties are still in negotiations and, with a bit of give and take, a deal could be tied up relatively quickly.

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"I'd like to have got the deal done in the next couple of weeks really," he said.

"We've got the parties talking to each other, so it should be doable.

"We've had people bidding for single assets, like the fish and chip shop.

"We've had people bidding for the training ground and the club without the stadium...I think that party thought they could move the games around local teams in the north west on a weekly basis, which clearly you can't do under EFL rules.

"I think anybody taking the club on needs to have the stadium as well, otherwise they're not going to be able to play games anywhere.

"There isn't really a viable alternative to using the DW Stadium, I don't think."

Stanley also defended the record of administrators Begbies Traynor since assuming control on July 1.

"We've tried to make this as easy as possible," he said.

"At the beginning of this process, we needed around £13million of cash coming in to clear football creditors and a myriad of other things...over a summer period with absolutely no income.

"We've had to sell players, largely because there was money owed on them, and some of them had release clauses.

"That money's now come in, and we now need around £4million for the training ground, the stadium and the football club.

"Which if there's one party buying it, I don't think it's that expensive.

"I see Brentford have just built a stadium for £70million, and I think you'd be getting pretty near to a state-of-the-art stadium here, with a 25,000 capacity.

"Anybody who's interested in getting into football, I think you've got an ideal blueprint here to start from, for not a lot of money."

When asked if and when the cut-off point would come, Stanley replied: "The cut-off point would be if we were to run out of money at any point.

"We've got to a point where the squad is very, very thin, and we still haven't got crowds coming into games - which will hopefully change in October.

"The EFL have been very supportive in the conversations we've had, they're letting us start the season, so it's only about the income coming in.

"The wage bill is now down to a manageable level, so it's only a question now of when the money runs out.

"That's a variable, because we're still in the transfer window, so we still have the ability to sell players - although that isn't our priority."

Stanley was speaking on talkSPORT to Jim White, whose co-presenter Simon Jordan has been particularly scathing in his assessment of the administrators' actions and fees - which are in excess of seven figures.

"The problem when you have a halfwit co-presenter, whose only claim to fame was spending £50million on a club (Crystal Palace) and losing the lot, is I don't really value his opinion, to be quite honest," Stanley added.

"From our point of view, we put out a statutory report, which tells people what we feel the job will cost in terms of our costs.

"That's what the law says we have to do, but that doesn't mean we will be charging those fees.

"The fees will be what they are at the end of the job, dependent on what realisations there are.

"I suspect there will be minimal fees if any coming out of the football club itself.

"The aim is to save the football club. Our fees will come out of money that would otherwise have gone over to Hong Kong."