Rick Parry, the EFL chairman, has been secretly filmed with a Wigan Athletic fan discussing a rumour of the club’s administration being linked to “a bet in the Philippines on them being relegated”.
The Championship club face a 12-point deduction as new owners are refusing to put more money into the club, less than a month after ownership changed hands. Parry was discussing the speculation over the motives with a neighbour and the EFL has confirmed it is aware of the social media clip.
Wigan’s administrators will launch an investigation into the switch of ownership at the DW Stadium once they have saved the club. They have not guaranteed players’ wages for today’s payday and must raise funds for travel to face Brentford tomorrow.
Gerald Krasner, of insolvency practitioners Begbies Traynor, has been appointed to find new owners after Next Leader Fund completed a takeover last month and put the Championship club into administration within a month, just before salaries were due to be paid.
“The money I have to raise now is for the travelling expenses for the match on Saturday,” Krasner said. “It is to pay the day-to-day items as well as wages. I am not going to guarantee anything. We are going to do our best because, if wages are paid, even if they are not paid in full, everybody feels a bit better.”
On the prospect of the owner putting in money, Krasner said: “Not one penny.” He believes there is a 25 per cent chance Wigan will fail to see out the remaining six league games this season. Their 12-point deduction means they are fighting relegation.
Championship 2019/20 latest standings (bottom half)
Krasner has 12 interested buyers, including one from Spain, who need proof of £10 million funds and are willing to take on debt of at least £6 million.
He fears other EFL clubs will be caught up in a similar predicament. “It’s my personal view that there are a number of clubs in the lower divisions that may not survive by coming back,” he said.