According to reports from BBC Sport Wigan Athletic are close to completing a deal, that could be completed in the next six weeks, of around £22 million that will see the club be taken over by International Entertainment Corporation (IEC).
The Chinese company, based in Hong Kong, announced they had agreed the deal to take over The Latics in May paying a £1.5 million deposit, after Wigan secured promotion back to the Championship by winning League One last season.
The deal will mark the end of the ownership of current chairman David Sharpe and his family, who have owned the majority of shares in Wigan for over two decades since taking over in 1995.
During that time the club have achieved promotion to the Championship from League One on three occasions in 2003, 2016 and 2018. Wigan also secured promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history finishing as Championship runners-up in the 2004/05 season. They secured their highest ever league finish of 10th in the Premier League in their first season in the top-flight, and remained amongst England’s elite for eight years before suffering relegation in May 2013.
However, Wigan’s relegation coincided with the club winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history in 2013, under the current Belgium national team manager Roberto Martinez, Wigan beat Manchester City 1-0 to claim a shock victory in the final at Wembley. That win created another milestone as Wigan qualified for Europe for the first time, competing in the Group Stages of the UEFA Europa League whilst in the Championship in the first half of the 2013/14 season.
It has been more of a struggle for Wigan in the years following their relegation from the Premier League, a period in which long-standing Chairman Dave Whelan stepped down with Davide Sharpe replacing him. However, with the club currently in 12th place in the Championship having taken 17 points from their opening 12 matches, they are in a stable position for new owners to take over and potentially move the club forwards.
A statement on Wigan’s official website read, “The change of ownership is expected to complete within the next six weeks subject to, and upon the fulfilment of, certain conditions including the approval by the shareholders of IEC of the relevant transactions for the change of ownership.
“We would like to stress our appreciation once more for your patience and continued loyal support throughout this process.”