Wigan Athletic have seen some dark days over the last nine months but the Latics can hope again after the club was officially taken over by Phoenix 2021 Limited. The club was relegated from the Championship last season and was placed in administration after being docked 12 points by the EFL. Wigan are currently in the drop zone in League One, with just nine games to go for the season finale. Here's a look at who owns Wigan Athletic now and the Phoenix 2021 limited Wigan Athletic takeover.
Wigan Athletic announced that the club had been officially taken over by Phoenix 2021 Limited. The group, headed by businessman Talal Al Hammad, will take over the League One club while Mal Brannigan, formerly of Dundee United and Dundalk, will become the club's new CEO. Richard Bramwell will take on the role of finance director and Tom Markham and Oliver Gottmann will become non-executive directors. Wigan Athletic were placed under administration by the previous owner Au Yeung Wai Kay, which led to a 12-point deduction, ultimately leading them to relegation in League One.
â¹ï¸ Find out more about the new directors of Wigan Athletic FC.— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) March 30, 2021
ð¤ Welcome to the new Wigan Athletic board Mal Brannigan, Richard Bramwell, Thomas Markham and Oliver Gottmann.#wafc ðµâªï¸
The EFL had placed Gerald Krasner, Paul Stanley and Dean Watson as the three administrators of the club, who took some cold business decisions over the past nine months. Supporters have been critical of the joint administrators and revealed that the new Wigan Athletic owners will return the funds contributed by fans to keep the club afloat last term to the Official Supporters' Club. Over the last nine month, many takeover deals collapsed, with the latest of them being with a Spanish consortium in January.
The new Wigan Athletic owners will have many short-, medium- and long-term problems to deal with, especially considering that eight players from the starting line-up are out of contract in the summer. EFL CEO Trevor Birch in a statement said that the league was pleased to have the situation resolved in what was a challenging period for the club, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. The EFL wished everyone at Wigan good luck and hoped that the Latics fanbase and the local Wigan community can now look to the future with a renewed sense of optimism.
Incoming chairman Mr Talal Al Hammad said that the takeover is the start of a new era at Wigan Athletic and that he feels excited to take up the challenge. Hammad said that the fans have stayed with the club through a very dark period and the ownership group will do all they can to make sure the future of Wigan is a much healthier and stable one. The Latics currently sit in the relegation zone in 22nd place, one point behind AFC Wimbledon who have a game in hand.