Wigan Athletic: Troubled club handed transfer embargo by EFL

Wigan Athletic's DW Stadium
Wigan Athletic were relegated to League One in 2022-23

Wigan Athletic have been placed under a transfer embargo for contravening EFL rules on tax payment.

The club, relegated from the Championship, have already been given an eight-point deduction to start life back in League One next season.

They are also up for sale and failed to pay wages on time on five separate occasions in 2022-23.

The EFL has given no more details of the embargo, other than it is for failing Regulation 17 of their rules.

That regulation says that clubs will have a transfer embargo placed if they either fail to pay due tax and/or National Insurance on staff wages or fail to report any late payments to the EFL.

Changes to the rules announced on Thursday show that clubs who accumulate 30 days of late payments over a 12-month period will face a transfer embargo for three consecutive transfer windows, but it is unclear whether this applies to Wigan or not.

The first three failures of Wigan failing to pay wages on time led to a three-point deduction that contributed to their relegation from the Championship.

That penalty was increased to six, and a further eight-point deduction was imposed for the start of next season for the two subsequent non-payments, and a failure to provide funds to cover wage payments for the whole of next season, as agreed with the EFL.

Following that punishment, the club was placed up for sale by Bahrain-based current owner Abdulrahman Al-Jasmi, with businessman Sarbjot Johal entering into takeover talks earlier this week.

The current owners indicated they were taking legal advice about the imposition of the eight-point penalty but also outlined plans to drastically reduce the club’s budget next season, by trimming the wage bill by 65% and relying more on youth players.

The departures of club captain Tendayi Darikwa, Steven Caulker, Joe Bennett, Ryan Nyambe, Jordan Cousins and Gwion Edwards has left the Latics with 21 senior players.

The rules do allow for “staffing up” so that every club has at least 23 players “of professional standing”, which means they can sign loan players and non-contracted players once the transfer window opens next week.


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