Championship side Wigan Athletic have become the first professional football club to enter administration amid the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the resumption of competition behind closed doors.
The club, currently in 14th position in the second tier of English football, will be docked 12 points a result – a deduction that will be applied this year if they finish outside of the relegation zone, or next year if they drop down a division.
Paul Stanley, Gerald Krasner and Dean Watson of Begbies Traynor have been appointed as joint administrators.
In a statement, Krasner claimed that the coronavirus ‘had a significant impact on the recent fortunes of the club,’ however Stanley – speaking to the BBC – later played down these claims, instead insisting the owners were partly to blame.
He said: "The funding that was due to come in from the owners didn't come in. I've had no contact with the owners and I don't know why the funding didn't come in. It might be coronavirus-related, I just don't know."
The club had long been owned by Dave Whelan, who carried them from the fourth tier up to the Premier League in 2005, and oversaw an FA Cup win in 2013. In 2018, however, he sold to Hong Kong-based International Entertainment Corporation, who in turn transferred ownership to current stewards Next Leader Fund.