Wigan Athletic takeover off amid claims bidder reduced offer by almost 50% | Football

Wigan Athletic’s prospective takeover is off, with the League One club claiming that the Spanish bidders reduced their offer by almost 50%.

An offer fronted by the Leganes owner, Felipe Moreno, was accepted by the club’s administrators in September but the process had dragged on until Tuesday morning, when an official club statement revealed the news.

“As of 11am today, the administrators have broken off negotiations with the Spanish bidder,” the statement said. “The facts are that as late as Christmas Eve, the bidder indicated that they wanted to complete the deal immediately and had wired money from Spain to their UK solicitors.”

“This was confirmed as being received by their solicitors over the Christmas period. The sale contract was agreed, the documentation had been signed in relation to the assignment of the leases with the council (stadium) and college (training ground) and completion was planned to take place in between Christmas and New Year.”

DW Stadium, Wigan

Wigan have slumped to the bottom four of League One while remaining in administration. Photograph: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

The statement continued: “Over this weekend we received a letter from the bidder reducing the bid by almost 50%. This would not allow us to pay non-football creditors the required 25p in the pound to avoid further sanctions against the club.

“This would result in a 15-point deduction and would effectively relegate the club to League Two,” the joint administrators added. “The purchaser was insistent on offering the reduced price but was not prepared to conclude the deal unless the 15-point deduction was waived.

“Under the EFL insolvency policy, this is not possible and the deal is therefore unable to be concluded. We have informed the EFL and are now starting to talk to other bidders who have expressed interest and will provide an update when there is any definite news.”

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Wigan have been in administration since the start of July, when a 12-point deduction relegated them to League One. News of a serious bidder appeared to give them a route out, but last month the EFL said it was still unable to sanction the deal.

It is another blow for the stricken club, who currently sit third from bottom in the League One table, two points from safety. The club have also been hit by a coronavirus outbreak, with their next two league fixtures already called off.

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