Wigan Athletic: Championship club taken over by Next Leader Fund

Wigan Athletic
Wigan were 20th in the Championship, two points above the drop zone, when the season was suspended

The takeover of Wigan Athletic has been completed by Next Leader Fund, a limited partnership headed by Hong Kong businessman Au Yeung Wai Kay.

The sale, marking the Latics' second change of ownership in two years, was confirmed more than six months after International Entertainment Corporation said it would offload the club.

Wigan's executive chairman Darren Royal said the new owners "will enable" the club to "negate some of the immediate" financial challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wigan's first-team players and senior staff agreed in April to defer part of their wages for three months amid the public health crisis which has forced the suspension of football in England.

The Latics were two places and two points above the relegation zone in March when the competition was halted and will be looking to avoid the drop to League One when the Championship resumes as planned on 20 June.

"We have already faced a challenging couple of months and there are no doubt more ahead following the Covid-19 outbreak," Royle said in a club statement.

"We now have to revive the organisation with innovative and safe ways of practice, which is something the board of directors, the senior management tea and number of staff have been planning and prioritising over the past few weeks."

Au Yeung added that he is "excited to join he Wigan Athletic family" and looks forward to supporting the club "in what is going to be an initially challenging period".