Wigan fans’ battle over owners goes to Westminster
The Government will respond to a petition started by Wigan Athletic Supporters’ Club to change the English Football League owners’ and directors’ test, after their campaign was backed by 10,000 signatures.
Fans have called for a review after Wigan were taken over in June by Hong Kong businessman Au Yeung Wai Kay, only for him to withdraw financial support within a month. The 12-point penalty for going into administration saw them relegated from the Championship this week, although they are appealing against the punishment.
The 10,000 signatures mean the supporters’ petition will receive a response from the Government, and the issue will be considered for a debate in Parliament when it reaches 100,000. Wigan MP Lisa Nandy threw her support behind the campaign, urging supporters to sign the petition. “Never again should any club have to go through what we’ve experienced in the last 21 days,” she wrote on Twitter.
The petition states that the test for becoming an owner “does not seem to be fit for purpose to protect football clubs in the future”.
Administrators met yesterday and confirmed they would press ahead with their appeal against the 12-point penalty. Regardless of the outcome, EFL rules state that they must pay legal costs, which will be up to £500,000.
To help pay Wigan’s wages for June, Jensen Weir has been sold to Brighton for £500,000. The 18-year-old midfielder featured in four first-team games for the club.