Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Wigan’s bankruptcy filing linked to Covid-19, club owner says

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The Chinese owner of Wigan (D2 English), Au Yeung Wai Kay, assured Tuesday that the crisis linked to the Covid-19 is indeed the cause of the bankruptcy of the club, sweeping rumors of embezzlement. “We bought Wigan Athletic with the best of intentions. Create a team that would bring the club back to the Premier League, “said Au Yeung in a statement. But the economic crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic has “undermined our ability to finance the club and we have made the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy to ensure its survival”. This press release responds to the theories that have multiplied on the reasons for this judicial recovery, by pointing out several inconsistencies. The club, a resident of the Premier League between 2005 and 2013 and winner of the British Cup in the year of its relegation to D2, had thus changed hands a few weeks before its bankruptcy, a surprisingly short time. In late May, International Entertainment Corporation (IEC), a Hong Kong-listed company owned by professional poker player Stanley Choi, ceded control of the club to New Fund Leaders (NFL), another company based in Hong Kong, but not listed, created four months earlier.

When the sale was announced, Choi was listed as the majority shareholder in NFL, but on June 24, when the sale was fully completed, Au Yeung Wai Kay held 75% of the shares in the same company. And just over a week later, the club announced its bankruptcy. “I think four weeks (between the announcement of the sale and the bankruptcy) is a record that will last for a while,” Gerald Krasner, one of the directors appointed to search, told the press a few days ago. a buyer at the club. The rumors started again when a video was published of Rick Parry, the president of the English Football League (EFL), filmed without his knowledge, evoking rumors on a bet in the Philippines on a descent of the club (in D3 ). However, the bankruptcy filing normally involves a withdrawal of twelve points for the club, which, in the current state of the classification, would move Wigan from 16th to last and relegation in the Championship. The club administrators have launched an investigation to establish the conditions under which bankruptcy was decided and asked Au Yeung for an appointment to explain it.

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