Soccer-Phoenix 2021 complete Wigan takeover

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(Reuters) - Wigan Athletic have been bought by UK-based Phoenix 2021 Limited, eight months after they were forced into administration, the English League One (third tier) club said.

Wigan went into administration last July, less than a month after being taken over by a partnership headed by Hong Kong businessman Au Yeung Wai Kay.

They were relegated from the Championship after a 12-point penalty imposed by the Football League (EFL).

The board of Phoenix 2021, a consortium led by Bahrain businessman Abdulrahman Al-Jasmi, will consist of Talal Al-Hammad as chairman, Tom Markham and Oliver Gottmann as non-executive directors, finance director Richard Bramwell and chief executive Malachy Brannigan.

"This is the start of a new chapter in the history of Wigan Athletic," Al-Hammad said "I feel excited and happy to start this new challenge.

"I thank all the fans who stood by the club, especially in the last nine months. Wigan Athletic fans are no different from a family standing together through thick and thin.

"As a group, we have been looking forward to this day for what seems an eternity ... The fans have stayed with the club through a very dark period and we will do all we can to make sure the future of the club is a much healthier and stable one."

Wigan spent eight seasons in the Premier League before they were relegated in 2013, the same year they won the FA Cup.

They are 22nd of 24 teams in League One, on 35 points with nine games remaining.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)