Wigan reach agreement on sale to Spanish investor

FILE PHOTO: Championship - Wigan Athletic v Fulham - DW Stadium, Wigan, Britain - July 22, 2020 General view at the end of the match, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Action Images/Molly Darlington

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Wigan Athletic, forced into administration in July, are set to be purchased by an investor from Spain, the club’s administrators said on Wednesday.

Wigan went into administration less than a month after being taken over by a partnership headed by Hong Kong businessman Au Yeung Wai Kay.

They became the first professional English club to fall into administration since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and were relegated from the second tier Championship to third tier League One after a 12-point penalty imposed by the Football League.

“We are pleased to announce that we have reached agreement with a preferred bidder from Spain. The offer that has been accepted deals with not only the sale of the club but also allows the payment to non-football creditors to avoid the 15-point penalty this season,” administrators Begbies Traynor said in a statement on the club website.

“In addition, a substantial deposit has been received. We are now working with our lawyers and the bidder to produce all of the necessary paperwork to submit to the EFL so that successful transfer of the football share can be made at the earliest opportunity.”

The administrators said they had agreed not to make details of the bidders public before the completion of the deal.

Wigan spent eight seasons in the Premier League before they were relegated in 2013, the same year they won the FA Cup.

Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond