Wigan Athletic fans forum: Darren Royle and Jonathan Jackson on financial sustainability

Wigan Athletic executive chairman Darren Royle and chief executive Jonathan Jackson both addressed the question of the club’s financially viability, and the steps being taken to ensure stability moving forward, during this week's fans forum at the DW Stadium.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 3:05 pm
Jonathan Jackson and Darren Royle

Darren Royle: “That’s a very good question, and one I think you could ask to most of the clubs in the Championship.

“In terms of financial viability, first of all we need to establish what that is – whether it’s profit and sustainability within the EFL, or the company itself.

“What has become evident – and it’s been part of the long-term plans at the club – is the Academy.

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“That’s something we are seeing the fruits of at the moment, with Joe Gelhardt and Jensen Weir.

“At some point, a club like Wigan Athletic in the Championship will have to sell players, assets if you like, to remain within the rules of the EFL, in terms of the amount you can lose every year.

“All I would say is we don’t know what will or will not happen in the next two years.

“A lot of clubs in the Championship are asking for changes in the rules, so it’s a case of watching this space.”

Jonathan Jackson: “At Championship level, no football club is sustainable – unless they trade players very successfully.

“You look at teams with much higher attendances than ours – Leeds United, Derby County, to name two – and they are still not financially sustainable.

“The only way clubs at this level can turn a profit is by buying and selling players successfully.

“Whether that’s developing players through the Academy, or buying players and then selling them at a profit.

“That’s what we’re trying to do, and it’s also what every club is trying to do. But it’s not easy.

“We’re competing with clubs armed with Premier Leafue parachute payments, as well as wealthy owners who are aiming for the Premier League.

“But this football club is all about remaining sustainable using the model of the Academy and player trading.”