Wigan Athletic were deducted three points for failing to pay players, leaving them on the brink of relegation

Wigan Athletic were deducted three points in the Championship table with immediate effect after the club failed to pay players’ salaries.

The Football Association charged the club with misconduct after it failed to meet agreed terms regarding the payment of players’ wages for the month of March 2023. This is the fourth time that the club’s current owners, Bahrain-based Phoenix 2021 Limited, have failed to pay their staff on time since They were promoted to the second division last year.

Wigan were previously sanctioned for failing to pay their players in the months of June, July and October 2022, although they remain confident the club’s “liquidity issues” will be resolved soon.

A statement from the Premier League read: “Wigan Athletic have, with immediate effect, been deducted three points from the 2022-23 Championship table after the club failed to pay players again in March 2023.

The club was previously accused and punished for not complying with the terms of the standard contracts that were in force between the club and its players in the months of June 2022, July 2022 and October 2022.

“This latest breach by the club to fulfill its obligations means that the terms of the agreed resolution entered into by the club with the EFL in January 2023 have been breached and the application of the suspended sporting penalty has been automatically enforced.

In a further breach of the Agreed Resolution, the owner of the club failed to deposit an amount equal to 125% of his expected monthly salary bill into a particular club’s account. This was the key term for the Agreed Resolution to help prevent the club from breaching the EFL regulations again, should there be a delay In the future in processing foreign payments.

“Separately, new charges have now been issued to the club following this latest instance of non-payment of players’ wages and non-compliance with the agreed decision. The club owner will also be charged with misconduct, with the matter being referred to an independent disciplinary committee.”

Wigan are currently fighting to avoid relegation from the Championship. They are bottom of the table with 31 points from 38 matches. Missing them by three points has put them further down the line, and they are now eight points short of safety with a crucial game against QPR next in April.

Manager Sean Maloney flies to Bahrain during the international break and says he will seek clarification from the ownership group regarding the situation.

“I really expect to get some clarity,” Maloney said. “I think it’s essential that we get clarity on where the club is in the short term.

“I think we need to be clear about what happened and why. And then we also have to have exactly the same for the long-term vision for the club, I think. But the priority has to be the players’ answers need to be pushed and we need to be clear about that.

“I’m not disappointed because I don’t have clarity, I’m just frustrated or frustrated with the players. I think they’re clearly the ones who suffer the most. So my feelings really are for them.”

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