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Wigan in Administration

Ten Bobsworth
Banks of the Croal
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801Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Mon Jun 05 2023, 16:22



Interesting thread on Johal here if anyone is bothered...

802Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Mon Jun 05 2023, 19:07


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

It’s not Dean holdsworths brother is it? Very Happy

803Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Mon Jun 05 2023, 21:00



It's actually quite funny how the penny dropped with Kendrick (the Iles equivalent at Wigan)

As recently as 6 hours ago he was tweeting this -

Things obviously very delicate at the moment, non-disclosure agreements signed, due diligence being done. It’s also absolutely critical EFL (and club/stakeholders) do the necessary stringent checks to make sure this is right. Will hopefully have info to put out soon. #wafc

That lasted for just two further hours when Johal's name became public -

Then someone informed him about Johal's past!

The penny has now well and truly dropped!!!

Now he needs to back track - he needs to throw Nandy (the MP) and the Supporters Club under the bus because they were the ones who believed what the club owner was telling them (without doing and background checks for themselves...).

He still needs to hold his line though to save some of his credibility...

Finally he realises that they are sort of stuck with Johal even if they would rather not!!!

What could possibly go wrong!!!!


804Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Tue Jun 06 2023, 11:08


Andy Walker
Andy Walker

Could it get any worse for Wigan? An owner who can’t afford, or no longer wants to fund them trying to sell to a 20 year old very questionable individual who can’t even get EFL approval at Morecambe? It’s beginning to look like curtains for them I’m afraid.

805Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Tue Jun 06 2023, 12:06



I suspect that is all a plan (deliberate or not) to delay things for as long as possible hoping that something better comes along.  Think of it a bit like Anderson suddenly holding meetings with Bassini to put pressure on FV to up their offer.

There was no way Bassini would be seen as to be Fit and Proper in the same way as the dodgy fizzy pop bloke is, by the EFL HOWEVER they still have to go through their process - they can't just say you failed the test last time so you will fail the test this time too.

With Bassini and the boy with Morecambe - they both claimed they had the funds but neither could prove it - and the EFL would not sanction a sale until they did - neither actually 'failed' the Fit and Proper Test if you will - but more accurately neither passed it by not producing evidence of their money to fund the club for the next two years.

That is the subtlety.

The EFL will be required to check out the fizzy pop man's claim he has the money in the bank to fund WAFC for the next two years - and only when he can't give proof, then he will be discarded and the process moves on.

I've not looked into things at Morecambe but I've read that he in fact has paid their last two months wages there - I've no idea how true that is - or on what terms (maybe it was a load against the clubs assets perhaps?) - maybe it simply isn't true at all - but the point I'm trying to make is that with his involvement there, the club has limped along for a few more months longer.

Will something turn up for Morecambe to save them now - and wouldn't have had say three months ago - I don't know - but as they say, where there is life, there is hope.

Will a similar scenario happen at Wigan...

Well apparently there is a second bidder in the background - maybe the farting around with the fizzy drinks man might just give them time to put a serious bid together?

I certainly don't think it is the end for Wigan just yet, I suspect that somehow they will struggle on for a month or two more yet and various tyre kickers will be linked to taking it over.

The owners will simply not pay the wages (or presumably anything else) and simply wait until someone files a Winding Up Order against them - so from the owners point of view he's probably got a couple of months to find a buyer (or come up with the money himself to carry on).

Maybe something good for Wigan will happen during that time?

Who knows?

We are talking about the football world after all - where normal business sense simply does not apply.

806Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Tue Jun 06 2023, 13:58



The following -

Part 1

One of his close associates has been in prison for possession of a fire arm and neither of his businesses explain how he's got enough money to buy a football club.

Part 2

He's possibly linked to a highly dubious and illegal 'get rich quick' scheme using crypto currencies.

Sluffy wrote:Interesting thread on Johal here if anyone is bothered...

There is actually a part 2 to the link above - which is equally concerning over the legality of the blokes wealth!

807Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Tue Jun 06 2023, 15:20



A very similar research into Johal by someone else - finding the same sorts of things.

Why I post it up however is that it appears Johal may have a stake in Morecambe Football Club Limited of up to 10% of the ownership (which is under the EFL's Fit and Proper Test).

Hard to say if that is the case as Morecambe has nearly 1,000 share holders at their last statutory reporting date last August and any amount of shares could have changed hands since.

It seems Johal has been funding the last few months wages and has been attending games - so it is possible that he has bought shares in the club?

I guess there is nothing stopping him putting money into Wigan on a similar basis too, if he has the cash and mind to do so?

Also worth reading the comments where the initial Twiter investigator joins in a discussion with the tweeter above.

Also the Morecambe football forum thread on Johal -

808Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Tue Jun 06 2023, 18:13



Fwiw I think the thing with Johal will run for the next couple of months at least.

This is my thinking.

Wigan FC need time to find a proper buyer.

EFL won't want another club to fold.

Therefore it is in both the owner and EFL's interest to keep the club going to find a buyer before the new season starts - they can't let Wigan start the new season without a 'concreate' buyer and if there is one on the horizon, they may actually let the club start the season (like they did with us) or if not postpone games from the start of the season, then kick the club out (like they did to Bury).

Johal hasn't actually failed a Fit and Proper Test - he's simply not explained where his money is coming from (to pass the money laundering test).  He can't take over any club unless he does so satisfactorily.

They can't stop the owner taking money from Johal to say pay the wages - otherwise they would have stopped Morecambe's owners doing the same.

Whether Johal would do so is another matter but as long as staff (as opposed to players) are paid, then the club will carry on trading - if the intention is to get to the transfer window and sell whichever players they can.

The players will get paid eventual in full.  They are football creditors that any new owner would have to pay in full first - and the PFA would pay them (via their insurers) if WAFC went into liquidation.

No one can force the club to do anything much until someone takes them to court with a Winding Up Order - even then the process can be dragged out for weeks and weeks.

The owner has nothing more to lose really - he's not going to get his investment of £20m or so back and any accruing debts will be paid off either via Admin or Liquidation at a rate of so much in the £ (we paid our unsecured creditors - who waited 3 years - at a rate of 35p in the £).

He might get a bit back though if he can sell the club.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least if there are others out there who might fancy their chances of owning a football club but on paper at least, WAFC does not seem a good investment.

A drawn out distraction with Johal gives everyone a chance of finding a buyer who can pass the Fit and Proper criteria.

Everyone has the best part of 3 months during summer to find one - and I think that is most likely how this will play out.

I can't imagine it will be Johal but he will serve the purpose of prolonging the process with the EFL again asking him to complete the Fit and Proper paper work, and him no doubt fobbing them off for as long as he can.

Johal will last as long as it takes to find someone else who is interested and the whole process starts again.

I think all this, in one form or another, will roll along all summer at least.

That's my reasoning anyway.

809Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Wed Jun 07 2023, 11:44


Andy Walker
Andy Walker

All of your posting Sluffy is based on Wigan actually receiving another bid from somewhere but with the situation continuing to worsen that seems more and more unlikely. By all accounts another of the problems for a buyer is the cost of rehabilitation and maintenance of the stadium, which none of the owners since Whelan, indeed including Whelan, have undertaken and the bill is rising all the time it goes undone. The stadium loses heavily every year, crowds are small and costs a fortune to run as it’s largely underused. Whelan covered many of these costs himself since he didn’t want any stadium sponsorship but that’s now not the case. Add in the high wage costs and little sell on value who do you believe would want to take Wigan on? I think you’re being very optimistic assuming another party might come in because frankly I can’t see why anybody would want to take on a club that’s just a money pit and then some.

810Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Wed Jun 07 2023, 12:17


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Shut them down i say, they can go and play in the NW counties league with Bury as that's where they belong.

811Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Wed Jun 07 2023, 12:30


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Norpig wrote:Shut them down i say, they can go and play in the NW counties league with Bury as that's where they belong.

They are better off sticking to rugby.

812Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Wed Jun 07 2023, 13:09



There is always someone who will make a bid to buy - we see it every time any club is in difficulty.

It doesn't mean they are genuine - most are the so called 'tyre-kickers' but there are like Day (Bury owner) those who are out to asset strip.

The fact that Wigan's owner has already got himself involved with the likes of Johal shows (for whatever reasons he has) a willingness to draw things out (as opposed to put more money into the business, or walk away from it and put it into liquidation).  Therefore it is clear to me that he sees some benefit to himself in the club having suitors (no matter how dodgy they may seem to us).

I'd be absolutely amazed if there isn't others prepared to enter negotiations with Wigan's owner if and when Johal drops out.

As for the stadium, I always take with a very large pinch of salt everything I read on the internet, especially from a random, unattributed source.

The anonymous author claims that a stadium that was built just 24 years ago (1999) by McAlpine's at a cost of £30m...

Named after the club’s owner, Dave Whelan, and his chain of gyms and shops DW Sports Fitness, the DW Stadium was designed by Alfred McAlpine and cost in the region of £30 million to build. Wigan Athletic were earmarked to play in the ground pretty much ever since Whelan bought the club, but Wigan Warriors, the rugby league club, also moved into the stadium a month after it opened in 1999. They had previously played their home games at Central Park, much as Wigan Athletic used to call Springfield Park their home.'s%20owner,%C2%A330%20million%20to%20build. now apparently in need of legal (do they mean statutory?) upgrades to comply with (presumably) current Health and Safety requirements, to the tune of £15m???

I'm pretty sure that both the EFL and the RL authority would both require annual checks on the stadium to ensure they meet current H&S Regs (remember the Bradford fire and Hillsborough, etc) and I would have thought it would be legally incumbent on the seller of the stadium to the current owner (being the courts representative - the appointed Administrators) to point out any structural failings of the stadium.

I would also have hoped that the buyer would also have his own experts to check that what he is buying meets all legal H&S and structural requirements too!

Frankly I simply don't believe what the author claims in respect of the stadium needing millions spent on it to meet current statutory requirements.

If the stadium isn't fit to hold football matches - then it equally won't be fit to hold rugby matches either - you would think the writer (being a rugby fan) would be more concerned about where Wigan RL would need to play as the DW Stadium is apparently 'legally' unsafe now?

I take his points about not marketing the stadium to its optimum and that the stadium currently runs at a loss.

As I repeatedly keep saying, I don't understand why anyone would want to buy a football club - but the reality is that they do.

Will people line up to buy Wigan - yes I think some will.

Will someone end up buying it - on the basis that the current owner seems to have stopped funding the business but has not moved to liquidate it - then I believe his intention is to sell it.

Whether he finds someone is another matter.

And if he does it makes me wonder what their intention for the club might be.

The current and previous owners have put considerable money of their own into the club (both £20m or more) and have lost the lot (or most of it anyway).

Will the next owner do similar - it is always possible - or will they in effect asset strip?

Their best hope is for some white knight to rescue them!

You never know in football.

I'm prepared to stick my neck out as I have already, and predict this saga will drag out, in one way or another, over the summer.  I expect Johal will be in the picture as long as no one more serious emerges.

I do expect others to be linked to a sale and I don't believe the current owner will walkaway until the very last moment he can.

The best thing to move all this along is for someone, HMRC perhaps, to issue a Winding Up petition to get their money due to them.

At least in that way the 'countdown' clock would have been started - and something more concrete will have to be achieved before then and the start of next season.

That's my take on all of this fwiw.

813Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Wed Jun 07 2023, 14:10


Andy Walker
Andy Walker

I don’t disagree with you regarding the safety of the stadium Sluffy since as you say every building requires by law an annual safety certificate but upkeep on a stadium that size is considerable, especially if nothings been done for years. Like you I’ve always believed there is somebody who will buy a football club but times are changing and for the life of me I can’t see a reason for anybody sensible to buy Wigan.

814Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Wed Jun 07 2023, 14:44



Whitesince63 wrote:I don’t disagree with you regarding the safety of the stadium Sluffy since as you say every building requires by law an annual safety certificate but upkeep on a stadium that size is considerable, especially if nothings been done for years. Like you I’ve always believed there is somebody who will buy a football club but times are changing and for the life of me I can’t see a reason for anybody sensible to buy Wigan.

If you agree with me about the safety of the stadium must already be up to date, then I'm sure you will agree with me that the quoted £15m for its 'upkeep' (things like a fresh paint over, perhaps, etc) after the 20 odd years since it was built, is an absolutely ridiculous amount to state.

The Reebok is older than the DW and over the last decade we too have skimped on its upkeep  but if you consider the bond we've just issued for a target of just £3.5m to bring it up to scratch and also included in that sum is pitch improvements to the training ground, a new IT 'highway' or whatever it is called, the provision of a new screen for the stadium and electronic advertising facilities around the whole of the stadium's upper tier frontage - then I suggest whatever upkeep the DW may actually need is much closer to say £1.5m than the £15m stated by some random on a 'Rugby League' social media forum.

As for anyone sensible wanting to buy a football club, I guess it depends on what they view as sensible.  

I guess if they have the money (or backing with someone else's money) and have an objective (whatever that may be?), then why not.

There must have been some reason why someone from Bahrain bought Wigan and put £20m into it.  Similarly we have Sharon and Luckock who have no connection to Bolton (or football) previously, who went out of their way to buy BWFC and put millions into it with no return on their investment yet - three years later.

I'm certain someone, such as Johal, have their reasons to want to buy Wigan.

As a fan you can only hope they are for the right reasons and not like Day's at Bury.

Also as an after thought, is the question of the points penalty accruing due to presumably current and future wages not being paid.

The current owner isn't bothered about these - he's hoping to be long gone before the season starts, so is it a concern to any potential buyers?

If they are genuine about saving the club but accept they will probably go down to the fourth tier, in any event - then it really isn't such an issue - other than the price they are prepared to pay for the club as a fourth division team.

If they are genuine with loads of cash to spend - then again I don't think it will be that much of an issue, other than the price they are willing to pay for a third tier club - factoring in the costs of a squad to keep them up despite the points penalty they have to start with.

If they only want to get the club to asset strip - then the penalty points are not an issue at all.

Of course if you are a genuine buyer, without deep pockets, then they really are an issue as you may need to stay at the third tier level for financial reasons but have a mountain to clime with the points, through no fault of your own.

815Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Wed Jun 07 2023, 23:02


Andy Walker
Andy Walker

Well I still think you’re being very optimistic that they’ll find a buyer Sluffy. There are rumours that other parties are interested but so far that seems to be all they are because no names other than this Johal character have emerged and with the ever mounting debt I just fail to see why anyone would want to take them on. I accept what you say about someone with loads of cash to spend but seriously, where are these people and why would they but into a money pit like Wigan with all the baggage they have right now. I don’t think you can seriously compare our situation with Sharon and Luckock to theirs, the clubs are in totally different spheres and whilst you can see some potential with us, what real potential do Wigan have? I fear for them I really do. I don’t want to see any club go to the wall but I honestly just can’t see a white knight coming to their rescue this time and think they’ll do well to even start the new season.

816Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Thu Jun 08 2023, 00:06



If you read what I've written, I've never actually said that there will be a buyer, what I have said is that there will be plenty who will look to buy.

For there to be a buyer, there has to be something to buy, and without knowing what assets the club has remaining and what debt it carries, then it is hard to determine what value is in it for the purchaser.

For instance if wages aren't paid, then players in theory could leave for free - therefore are the players an asset that can be sold, or not?  Similarly, are creditor payments up to date, or are folk like the taxman owed millions?

Where I'm going with this, is would anyone see value in buying the club as it is now, or wait for it to be put in Administration, or buy whatever you are looking for (such as the stadium) from the Liquidator?

If there is no debts owing then maybe, the club could be bought for £1 and the new owners inherit the latest unpaid wages and look to turn the club around by slashing costs and selling players.

If there are substantial other debts outstanding, it may be in the potential new owners interest to agree a pre-pack Administration (although I'm not sure if that is allowed by the EFL?) and thus only have need to pay unsecured creditors at 25p in the £.  Basically end up doing what we did, lose all the high earners, put the kids out for one season, get relegated and build back up again from the fourth tier.  

If there is no assets as such to raise money on, then you may as well buy whatever it is you had your eye on from the Liquidator.

One thing to remember though is that the stadium is home to Wigan RL.

Would they want to buy the stadium, or would it be a millstone financially for them?

Would they buy the stadium together with 'partners' who would buy the club, perhaps?

In short it all depends on what a buyer wants and what is there to be had.

I can't see any financial logic in anyone buying the club now, hence things will drag on over the summer until someone puts a stop to it.

I can see however several prospective buyers making enquires of the club to see if they can work out something of a deal (somehow) to their advantage.  Whether that is possible is another matter.

If something can be done before the start of next season, then there will be a buyer and a new owner, if not I can only imagine things will turn out somewhat similar as Day at Bury, where the club is lost, everyone loses their jobs and he sits on the stadium as a way of getting something back for his troubles.

817Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Thu Jun 08 2023, 11:06


Andy Walker
Andy Walker

Yes, good summary Sluffy, that’s just about where I’m at on this and you’re right that we shouldn’t underestimate the rugby situation in it all. It’s just a shame that the football and rugby factions have such a hatred for each other instead of accepting that they’re in different sports and could both benefit from working together to resolve the problem. Surely it’s better for them both financially to share the costs and possible earnings from the stadium than fighting over it? I’m sure even the local council could assist or even take a share of ownership? As you say, none of us know the state of the clubs true finances but we can be pretty sure they’re not good I think. As we found during our tribulations, showing an interest doesn’t turn into offers from prospective buyers, or at least genuine ones, so it will be interesting to see if the owners can string this out until the window opens and see if there’s any interest in their players and at least get some of the high earners off their books. It’s certainly a worry for their fans and as we know there are no guarantees how it will turn out. I do hope they survive though. 🥴

818Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Thu Jun 08 2023, 12:25



The possibility of Wigan RL buying the club is very complicated from an ownership point of view.

In simple terms you would have two businesses and unless both make a profit, then how do you finance them?

Say the rugby makes a profit and the football makes a loss, wouldn't you want your rugby profit to invest in the rugby team to make it better rather than being taken to prop up a failing football team - or visa versa?

If both are making a loss, where do you make cuts?

I would imagine the wage budget for the football club is many times bigger than for rugby, we aren't talking about rugby and football being equal, so how do you manage all the financial decisions that have to be made flowing from such inequality?

There is also the issue of dealing with people who share the same facilities together, footballers who are being paid thousands a week and rugby players being paid a fraction of that.

How do you prioritise spending what money you have?

There is also sporting rules that impact things, I believe for instance the EFL insist that a football club has to have priority over the use of the stadium it plays at - so you would have a Rugby Club owner whose rugby team doesn't have first dibs on its own pitch that it owns!

Both teams play in different colours (rugby red, football blue), so how do you paint the stadium, do you have to change the colour of the seats from red to blue, then back again, after every game, etc?

In many ways it is best to keep the ownership of the football and rugby clubs separate from each other, otherwise whatever the owners do will be criticised by one group of fans or the other.

It would probably make more sense for the Rugby in partnership with someone else to buy WAFC, with the Rugby buying the stadium and the 'partner' buying the club and becoming a tenant at the DW.

Why would the rugby want to buy WAFC anyway, it is really only the stadium they are after - and it is pretty obvious that WAFC will continue to run at a loss for the next few seasons at least (we are three years on after Administration and still yet to make a trading profit, for instance).

The part owner of the rugby Mike Danson is apparently a billionaire so I guess he could fund both if he wanted to but why should he if he isn't that bothered about football?

I don't think it is as easy and convenient for the rugby and football to fall under one owner as people think but it might end up as the best (only way?) out of it for WAFC.

Saying that though who would have thought a bunch of American's, Chinese, Spanish and eventually Bahrainis get involved trying to buy them last time they were sold?

819Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Thu Jun 08 2023, 18:39


Andy Walker
Andy Walker

I’m not suggesting they need to merge together Sluffy, as you say that would be full of problems but surely they could work together more closely than they do now? Clearly in any arrangement the football club would actually probably own the stadium and allow its use during the summer for rugby as they do now but it could also be part owned by the rugby or even the local council? I accept there are problems but I’m sure if there’s a will by all parties there must be a way, always assuming of course that as you say the rugby owners want to be involved or perhaps just buy the stadium themselves and rent to WAFC if that’s allowed? It’s a mess but surely the Tics fans would prefer a local owner or funder than what they have now, or is being proposed with the fizzy pop man?

820Wigan in Administration - Page 41 Empty Re: Wigan in Administration Thu Jun 08 2023, 19:06



Seems the latest news is that the EFL have voted in today a new rule which basically says clubs have to self report any late payment of any debts covered by Regulation 52.6 (I've not looked it up but it now includes HMRC).

If they accumulate 30 days late payments in any 12 month period, it triggers a THREE window transfer ban.

Apparently Wigan falls foul of this!

The EFL have given Wigan 30 days to clear their debts (to those covered by Reg 52.6) or they will get a three window transfer ban.


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