Latics report loss of nearly £4m

Latics chief executive Jonathan Jackson
Latics chief executive Jonathan Jackson

WIGAN Athletic have reported a loss of nearly £4m for last season.

The figures cover the campaign which saw them relegated to League One, and represent their first loss since 2011.

It contrasts with the net profit of £2.6m the previous year.

But in a broader context, it appears almost modest when compared to some others clubs who have suffered relegation.

Championship strugglers Bolton are an extreme example, with a debt of more than £170m, while Insider reported in August heavy annual losses for north west rivals Blackburn (£36.5m) and Burnley (£7.6m).

A statement by Wigan Athletic said turnover decreased to £28m, compared to £37m a year earlier, as they received lower Premier League ‘parachute payments’ and did not benefit from revenue from FA Cup and Europa League competitions. Latics chief executive Jonathan Jackson said the losses reflected their spending as they aimed for promotion to the Premier League – which instead ended with relegation to the third-tier of English football.

He said the Whelan family remain committed to Wigan Athletic, who complied with the financial fair play rules.

Jackson said: “The financial results reflect a defined strategy that was intended to allow the club to assemble a squad of players that could challenge for promotion back to the Premier League.

“It was hugely disappointing that we were relegated from the Football League Championship and it certainly demonstrated the unpredictability of football and the importance of financial sustainability at all levels.

“It became apparent as the season progressed that effective player trading was necessary in an attempt to improve results but also to enable the club to absorb potential future turnover reductions.

“Prudent financial management including implementing some difficult and timely decisions have restricted losses during the year to within acceptable and budgeted levels, but has also enabled the club to continue to invest in the playing squad and set a financial target to return to break even this season.

“The parachute payments received from the Premier League provide some protection from the significant reduction in income and continue until 2017.”

Since these figures, a number of the club’s top-earners have departed during a sweeping turnover of personnel in the summer.

Jackson added: “The club remains committed to achieving success and the new squad of players that has been assembled since the year end is now tasked with our primary objective of promotion to the Championship within the financial parameters that we operate.

“The continued financial support of the Whelan family has allowed the club to continue pursuing long-term strategic goals and although the financial results for the year ended 31 May 2015 mirrored the disappointments on the field, the owners remain committed to developing and improving Wigan Athletic to enable the club to return to the highest level of English football.”

Net external debt remained at £9.5m compared to £9.4m a year earlier, while overall net liabilities increased to £13.3m from £9.4m in 2014.