Wigan slapped with another four-point deduction and will start 2023-24 League One season on MINUS EIGHT
WIGAN will start League One with MINUS EIGHT points next season after being docked a further four.
The Latics failed to meet a funding deadline by the EFL to cover the costs of the club’s next wage bill.
PAWigan will start the 2023-24 League One season on minus eight points[/caption]
Owner Abdulrahman Al-Jasmi’s two previous late payments had already triggered a four-point deduction last week, with another four suspended.
The March wages were due on Friday 10 but did not get done until a full fortnight later while the May payments were not completed until Tuesday 16, 11 days late.
But after missing Friday’s extended 9am deadline to deposit 125 per cent of the forecast monthly wage bill, the EFL wasted no time in throwing the book at Wigan by triggering the extra four points for 2023-24.
The EFL said: “This follows a previous sanction of four points after failing to pay its players’ wages on time in March 2023 and May 2023.
“The EFL has spent the past 48 hours in dialogue with the club in an attempt to find a positive outcome to the issue but as of 09:00 BST Friday morning the required funds have not been deposited.”
It has been a dire season on and off the pitch for Wigan.
As well as the financial woes that led to anger at the owner from players and threats of striking, the club went through three managers – including a nightmare two months for Kolo Toure – and ultimately ended up relegated.
The Latics finished bottom of the Championship on 39 points, with six deducted from their ten wins and 15 draws for late payments earlier in the season – before the further eight for the new campaign.
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In a lengthy open letter to fans, Latics chairman Talal Al Hammad said: “I want to confirm that an eight-figure sum is currently being processed and is due to land in the Club account imminently. This funding will also ensure financial stability for June and the 2023-24 season.
“We have been transparent with the EFL who have had full visibility of this amount throughout the process following Friday’s [19 May] statement.
“It is important to address the numerous late wage payments. As I have previously stated, I recognise this is totally unacceptable.
“We have learnt from the unsustainable wage budget of this season and consequently have developed a more sustainable strategy for the Club, focused on the development of younger players, especially those that have come through the 3PL Wigan Athletic Academy.
“After meetings with the Board and Technical Board, the wage budget for this coming season has been agreed upon. It will be over 65 per cent less than what it was this season, making it a much more sustainable budget from an ownership perspective. We know, however, that this will still be a competitive budget in League One.
“There have been many questions about the owners’ commitment to the Club. He is fully committed to Wigan Athletic. As an ownership group and Board, we recognise we have a lot of trust to rebuild and this starts again now.
“We will start next season with a points deduction and that we truly regret and apologise to all fans and stakeholders. This is a culmination of the struggles of the past season.
“We cannot change the past, but what we can do is look to the future. We recognise we must rebuild trust with you.”
Shaun Maloney’s side finished bottom of the Championship and were relegatedRex