Wigan Athletic: Championship club report £7.7m loss for promotion season

The DW Stadium is home to both Wigan Athletic and reigning Super League champions Wigan Warriors
The DW Stadium is home to both Wigan Athletic and reigning Super League champions Wigan Warriors

Championship club Wigan Athletic have reported a £7.7m net loss for the 2017-18 League One title-winning season.

It compares to a net profit of £4.3 million in 2016-17, when they finished second from bottom in the Championship and were relegated to the third tier.

"The loss was anticipated," said CEO Jonathan Jackson. "But this highlights the investment required to achieve success outside the Premier League."

Wigan's average home gate dropped last season to 9,152 from 11,722 in 2016-17.

In eight successive seasons in the Premier League, between 2005 and 2013, during which they won the FA Cup, Wigan attracted an average home attendance of 18,622 to their 25,000-capacity stadium.

The successful 2017-18 season was the club's last full campaign under former owner Dave Whelan and his family, and their first since losing their Premier League parachute payment, causing a drop in turnover of £18.4 million to £6.7 million.

In his statement, Jackson added: "The Championship is now populated by owners who are prepared to invest significant funding into clubs to attempt to achieve success and player salary levels continue to increase each year as clubs compete for the best players in a limited talent pool."

He also revealed that the Latics turned down an offer to sell prize asset Nick Powell in the January 2018 transfer window.

"An offer to purchase Nick Powell was received from a Premier League club," he confirmed. "This would have reduced the financial loss for the year to less than £2m.

"Ultimately, the transaction did not happen as the player preferred to remain at the club."

Wigan were taken over in November 2018, when International Entertainment Corporation purchased a majority shareholding.

The Latics are currently 19th in the Championship under manager Paul Cook, but seven points clear of the relegation places after winning their last two home games.