Wigan takeover imminent as consortium from Bahrain agrees deal to buy the club

  • Talal Mubarak al-Hammad named as leader of consortium buying Wigan
  • Cut price deal has been agreed 
  • Takeever would see Wigan avoid liquidation

Wigan’s long running takeover saga looks to be coming to an end after it was revealed that the club’s potential new Middle Eastern owner is Bahrain businessman Talal Mubarak al-Hammad.

Administrators at Wigan are in advanced talks with a consortium led by Talal Mubarak al-Hammad and have agreed to lower the club’s £3million price tag to secure the sale, as the Latics are in the bottom four of the League One table with less than a third of the campaign to go.

In February 2021 Paul Stanley, joint administrator at Wigan, spoke to Northern Quota and confirmed that Wigan were in talks with a potential new Middle Eastern owner.

The identity of that individual has now been revealed as the deal has progressed significantly. Stanley previously confirmed that the money to fund the takeover has been checked by the EFL and that the EFL were conducting background checks on the new owner. Those have been completed now and the completion of the deal looks imminent.

The club has been in administration since July 2020 and Wigan were relegated to League One as a direct consequence of the 12-point deduction imposed. EFL rules prevent any club from starting successive seasons in administration, so time has been ticking for the situation to be resolved.

Stanley also told Northern Quota that the prospective new owner has a UK-based team of directors in place to take over the running of Wigan once the deal is approved.

There will be a UK director of football and a UK chief executive, whom Stanley described as “football people”.

“The new owners have a plan to take the club forward with a credible management team,” he said.

The identity of these individuals has since been revealed according to documents lodged at Companies House. The proposed board will include Richard Bramwell, Mal Brannigan, Oliver Gottman, Thomas Markham and Talal Mubarak Al Hammad, who would serve as chairman.

Mal Brannigan will provide much of the football knowledge and experience, having held senior management roles at Hull City, Coventry City, Derby County, Sheffield United, Everton, Dundalk and, most recently, Dundee United. Richard Bramwell is Latics’ long-time finance director, having joined the club in 2013.

The news will be a welcome relief to Wigan Athletic supporters who have been through hell and back this season. After previous takeover deals collapsed it was feared that Wigan would be liquated and cease to exist.

In September 2020 an agreement was reached to sell the club, stadium and training ground to Spanish businessman Jose Miguel Garrido Cristo.

However, the deal fell apart in early January when the offer was reduced by 50 per cent. That would have left the club unable to pay its creditors and so trigger a further 15-point deduction that would effectively relegate the club to League Two. Talks with the Spanish buyers were broken off on 5 January.

The deal will the consortium from Bahrain will still involve them paying the non-football creditors 25p in the pound, which would eliminate the possibility of a further 15-point deduction being applied next term. The timescale towards completion could now be relatively short.