- ‘I don’t know what’s happened between Christmas and New Year, but something’s gone on to make them get cold feet’.
By Andrew Atkinson
The future of EFL first division Wigan Athletic was thrown into doubt on January 5 – when a Spanish consortium unexpectedly dropped their interest to buy the club.
And the unnamed Spanish interest has been labelled as having ‘cold feet’ in an unexpected u-turn.
The shock news from Spain came over three months after having their offer accepted by the administrators, as reported by The Leader.
After awaiting the EFL approval of the Spanish bid, initially accepted on September 30, the admins released a statement to say the deal was off.
The Spanish, at the 12th hour, reduced their unknown offer by 50%.
Co-administrator Paul Stanley said: “An hour after the Spanish money came in, there were hordes of them (interested parties) saying they were about to send the money over.
“Most of it was nonsense, but I have kept in touch with some of them. They have all the information, they know nothing’s really changed from when they wanted to buy it.
“If you’re a long-term investor it’s still pretty much the same deal on the table.
“You’re still getting a very good club, really cheap. It’s whether people are willing to take that gamble in the middle of a worldwide (coronavirus) pandemic.”
On the Spanish interest he said: “We were so desperate to keep it alive, right to the end.
“They told us they were halving the money, and they wouldn’t be paying the 25p in the pound.
“We went back to them and told them we could work with that, but they’d get a 15-point deduction, which they weren’t happy with.
“That’s obviously not in our remit, there’s EFL rules and regulations in place, and an insolvency policy.
“If you’re not going to pay the non-football creditors 25p, firstly they don’t have to transfer the share to you, and secondly there’s also a number of other sanctions at their disposal that they’ve never had to use before.
“The deal in the end just wasn’t workable and, in the end, they must have known it wasn’t workable.
“It looks like it was just their way of saying they’d changed their minds, and they were out.
“That money definitely moved on December 24, and it was definitely cleared in their solicitors’ account over Christmas.
“They confirmed that to us, and I know the solicitors, they’re not just going to make it up.”
Interested parties are aplenty following the Spanish pulling the plug: “We have made contact with 23 parties who have shown interest in the club over the past six months.
“We are pleased to confirm we have already entered into formal discussions with three parties with regards to the potential sale of the club.
“We will continue to provide the relevant information to the respective parties with the hope of achieving a successful outcome in the coming weeks. We will provide a further update to staff and supporters as events unfold,” said a statement from the admins.
Former Premier League club Wigan Athletic are near the foot of the League One table.
On the Spain u-turn, Paul Stanley said: “I don’t know what’s happened between Christmas and New Year, but something’s gone on to make them get cold feet.”