Wigan Athletic (Getty Images)
English Football League chairman Rick Parry has pledged to probe the circumstances around Wigan’s administration after claiming English football has been treated with “disrespect”.
Championship club Wigan were placed into administration by new owners Next Leader Fund, headed by Au Yeung Wai Kay, just a month after they took over.
The Latics, FA Cup winners in 2013, have appealed against a 12-point penalty which could see them relegated at the end of the season.
Parry, who confirmed that the Hong Kong-based group passed the EFL’s owners’ and directors’ test, said he was shocked by the decision to call in the administrators.
“It was a tremendous shock, a bolt from the blue. Normally if a club is facing administration, you get warning signs,” Parry told the BBC on Wednesday.
“Generally they don’t pay HMRC, they don’t pay the players, there are problems with creditors and it happens gradually.
“It is really unprecedented for an owner to put his own club into administration, literally overnight.
“It is completely unprecedented for an owner who has only just acquired the club for £40 million to put his prized asset straight into administration and therefore destroy its value to him.
“It makes absolutely no sense to us. It’s a real mystery. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”
Parry, who played down rumours that the club may have been at the centre of a betting scam, admitted the EFL’s powers to call the owners to account may be limited.
But he promised to do all he can to investigate the matter.
“We want to and we are determined to. How confident can you be when it is thousands of miles away with limited jurisdiction? It will be challenging,” Parry said on the day Wigan beat QPR 1-0 in their latest Championship fixture.
“We want to try to get to the bottom of this because, on the face of it, the Wigan staff, the fans, the players, the town… English football has been treated with disrespect in this.”