Wigan set to escape further penalty as owner waives debts

London (AFP) – Embattled Wigan should avoid a further points penalty next season after owner Au Yeung Wai Kay waived £36million ($47.1 million) in debts owed to him by the third-tier club.

Begbies Traynor, Wigan’s administrators, said they were also in talks with “serious bidders” interested in buying the 2013 FA Cup winners, who were relegated from the Championship last season.

Yeung wrote off the debts days after it was revealed by an independent panel the Hong Kong businessman enquired about putting the club into administration on the eve of informing the English Football League he had bought a majority stake.

Wigan were placed in administration on July 1 and penalised 12 points which ultimately sent them down instead of third-from-bottom Barnsley. 

Yeung’s Next Leader Fund was owed separate debts of £25.3m and £10.7m by the club.

“(Yeung) has given the administrators the powers necessary to put this into effect and to use all monies for the benefit of the club,” a statement from the administrators said.

“By waiving all his rights Mr Yeung has also made it much more possible to pay the necessary 25p dividend to the creditors and thus avoid a further 15-point penalty next season.”

The statement said Yeung had “cooperated fully for the benefit of the club” and acted “in order to ensure the survival of the club and to give the administrators the best possible chance to agree a sale”.

Begbies Traynor sounded a more optimistic note regarding finding a purchaser for the club than they did on Monday.

They had warned unless an agreement is reached by August 31, they will have to consider whether the club can be funded into the 2020-21 season.

However, on Thursday they intimated productive talks were taking place.

“Talks are continuing with serious bidders with a view to bring a successful sale to fruition,” the statement said.

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