Wigan Athletic will start the 2023-24 League One season eight points short after the points suspension has been deducted by the English Football League (EFL) after the club failed to deposit funds to cover its pay bill.
The English Premier League deducted four points last week after the club failed to pay players’ salaries for the fifth time, in addition to previous violations of league regulations.
He deducted three points from their total this season and has now enacted another four-point penalty that has been suspended.
The league said in a statement on Friday: “After failing to ensure that an amount equal to 125 per cent of the club’s expected monthly wage bill has been deposited into a particular club’s account by Wednesday 24 May, pursuant to an independent commission disciplinary order, Wigan Football Club have been deducted four points. Other and He will now start the 2023-24 season down eight points (-8).
This follows an earlier penalty of four points after failing to pay its players on time in March 2023 and May 2023.
“The EFL have spent the past 48 hours in dialogue with the club trying to find a positive outcome to the case but as of 9am on Friday the requested funds had not been deposited.”
Wigan will appeal the AFL ruling.
Earlier on Friday, the club issued a statement in which Chairman Talal Al-Hammad said late wage payments were “totally unacceptable” and that the funds were in the process of being paid.
“I want to confirm that an eight-figure amount is currently being processed and is due to reach the club’s account shortly,” the statement said. This funding will also ensure financial stability for the month of June and the 2023-24 season. We have been transparent with the Foreign Language Association, who had full visibility of this amount throughout the process following Friday’s (May 19th) statement.
“We have learned from this season’s unsustainable wage budget and have therefore put in place a more sustainable strategy for the club, focused on developing young players.”
Al-Hammad said a new CEO and sporting director would be announced in the coming weeks to “ensure these plans are properly implemented” and that the board of directors would hold regular meetings with fan representatives who can contribute to the club’s decision-making.
Wigan were relegated after finishing last in the Championship this season. Their score was reduced to 39 after last week’s penalty.
The club apologized and paid players and staff salaries this month after the latest number of payment delays.
The players were excused from training earlier this month due to “difficult conditions”.
Wigan has been owned by Bahrain-based Phoenix 2021 Limited since March 2021.
(Photo: Getty Images)