League One Side Wigan Athletic Reportedly Agrees To Takeover Deal
League One side Wigan Athletic "could be under new ownership by the end of the year" after Hong Kong-based investors agreed to a takeover deal worth in excess of £20M ($26.4M), according to Simon Stone of the BBC. The sale of the club is "subject to due diligence and approval" from the English Football League. Owner Dave Whelan took control in '95 but the 80-year-old brought in former Man City CEO Garry Cook earlier this year "to find a buyer." It is "hoped a deal will be done before the January transfer window opens" (BBC, 10/17). THE SUN's Alan Nixon reported gambling operator K8 is behind the takeover of Wigan. K8 is "big in Asia," with bases in China, Vietnam and the Philippines. It already has sponsorship deals with Man City, West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City. However, K8, which has online gambling and casinos worldwide in its portfolio, wants to own a club and "take it to the top level." K8 CEO Vincent Huang "has been to Wigan to finalise the move" (THE SUN, 10/17).