The administrator of Wigan Athletic has said lawyers have been appointed to investigate the circumstances of the club’s collapse, including the rumour of a possible gambling connection cited by the EFL chairman, Rick Parry.
The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy also jointly wrote to Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport calling for the EFL to conduct an investigation, saying: “There are serious questions to be asked about the EFL’s processes, with the club’s new owner being approved just a matter of days before it was plunged into administration.”
They also asked the EFL to suspend the club’s 12-point penalty for going into administration; which could apply this season or next depending on its final league position; pending the outcome of the investigation.
On Wednesday Wigan entered administration just weeks after the club changed owners.
“What has been allowed to happen in recent days is disgraceful,” she wrote. “It shows the complete failure of governance safeguards to protect clubs like ours.”
Nandy, the MP for Wigan and also shadow foreign secretary, added: “Wigan Athletic FC has been a well-run, much-loved club at the heart of our community for almost 90 years.
“I am at a complete loss as to how the new ownership model could have been approved by the EFL. There must be a full inquiry.”
Wigan face a 12-point deduction to be applied either this season – if they finish outside the Championship relegation zone – or at the start of 2020-21.
The club’s administrators intend to investigate how the club ended up in the situation barely a month after changing owners.
Wigan will fulfil their Championship game at Brentford on Saturday despite players not being paid their wages they were due on Friday.
2018 Dave Whelan sold Wigan Athletic to Hong Kong based International Entertainment Corporation (IEC) who specializes in gambling. Owned by professional poker player Stanley Choi of Hong Kong.
June 2020. The club officially changed hands to Next Leader Fund (NLF) based in the Cayman Islands and only set up in January 2020. Majority share in NLF?
You guessed it, Stanley Choi. How did NLF afford the takeover? A loan.
IEC loaned NLF £28 million with an interest rate of 8% rising to 20% if not paid back in 12 months. That’s £100,000 a week in payments which Wigan would not be able to afford. Sounds dodgy as hell right? Well the EFL didn’t seem to think swiftly approving the terms of sale.
On 24th June, NLF switched hands to a new majority stakeholder, Au Yeung Wai Kay. A week later, Chinese lawyers contacted administrators to instruct them to seize control of the club. The administrators themselves can’t even contact the owners, who have clearly ‘done a runner’.
Has Au Yeung Wai Kay always dreamed of owning a football club in Lancashire? Doubt it. He paid £17 million for the club + £28 million in loan repayments. That’s £45 million pounds to own a club for 7 days and then place it into admin. Why would anybody do that?
Well, here’s why… This is a video of the head of the English Football League, Richard Parry, stating he’s heard a rumour that there was a big bet placed on Wigan’s relegation in the Philippines. Remember the past owner was a professional gambler who owned a string of casinos?
I wonder which Philippine-based gambling company could have been used? Well look no further than the front of Wigan’s shirts. KB88 bet. Director of KB88, Tat Man Cheung, left the company prior to take over then was reinstated 12 days before Wigan was placed into administration.
KB88 brought into the club by the past owner and Darren Royle (Current Wigan Chairman). Royle used to work for KB88 Bet. He was also responsible for recommending IEC to Wigan Athletic when Whelan was looking to sell.
So why would somebody place a club into admin 7 days after owning them and only 6 games before the end of the season? -12 points is the sanction from the EFL, dragging Wigan back into the relegation places. Nobody would want that surely?
Unless maybe you (or a close ally) gambled on the club going down and panicked as they started to pick up points and climb away. Does Au Yeung Wai Kay even exist? Or is he a fictional front man to keep Choi out of trouble?
Let me now take you back to August 2019, witnesses in the stand saw somebody get thrown out of the stadium for being wired up and illegally betting. Where in the world was he wired up to? Hong Kong. There’s a history of betting scams.
“It’s a well run club and the oddest situation I’ve ever seen” was the verdict of administrator Gerald Krasner. Wigan have always been a well run club, loss making, but controlled. We rely on funding from owners and have only spent money we either had or believed was incoming.
This money was quickly pulled from under the club’s feet by a transaction that was sanctioned by the EFL only weeks prior. The same EFL that then issued a -12 point penalty, punishing the club but potentially rewarding the owners and their carefully constructed plan.
This is an international scandal that requires investigation at the highest level. Facilitated willingly by the EFL who proceeded to punish innocent people based on their own failings. We may be too far down the line to save Wigan but this CANNOT be allowed to happen to others.
How can you help? Anything you buy from the club shop goes directly to the club which will help with ongoing costs. Or, you can purchase a cardboard cut out for our remaining home games which proceeds will go to the club, let’s fill it with shirts from all clubs far and wide!!
Please share this thread, this is potentially the greatest football scandal of all time!