Wigan Athletic’s administrators have set a deadline of 31 August to complete the sale of the stricken football club, and warned that they “cannot see through” the upcoming League One campaign without finding a buyer.
An update on the club’s official website said: “We are continuing talks with various interested parties and are in discussions with four bidders regarding the sale. We have set a deadline of 31 August 2020 to agree and sign the sale contract.”
“If the contract is not signed by this date, we will have to reconsider the position on the basis that the new season starts a week later,” the statement added. “The reason for this is that we will be responsible for the team at the start of the season and the fulfilment of the fixtures.
“Understandably, if no buyer is available, we do not wish to commit to something we cannot see through. We are still hopeful that one of the bidders will be in a position to sign the contract as set out.”
The 2013 FA Cup winners were on course for a mid-table Championship finish this season, but were thrown into turmoil when their new owners, the Hong Kong-based consortium Next Leader Fund, placed the club into administration on 1 July.
That shock development led the EFL to impose a 12-point penalty which saw the Latics relegated to League One after slipping to 23rd in the table. The club, who are without a manager after Paul Cook’s departure, are set to begin their third-tier campaign on 12 September.
Joint administrators Paul Stanley, Gerald Krasner and Dean Watson also confirmed that forwards Joe Gelhardt and Kieffer Moore have been sold to Leeds United and Cardiff City respectively, with further negotiations over player sales still ongoing.
The club statement also confirmed that all staff, including the current playing squad, have received their July salaries. Wigan Athletic Supporters Club have provided funds for the first-team kits, which will carry their logo at the beginning of the season.