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Wigan Athletic supporters’ group launches Parliamentary petition

Wigan Athletic Official Supporters’ Club (WAOSC) have launched a petition calling on the Government to back the formation of an independent regulator who could protect the future of all clubs.

The Lancashire club, which was acquired by its new Chinese owners on 4th June was placed into administration earlier this month – the new owners claiming it was a result of the ongoing public health crisis.

This claim has been disputed by the EFL, who are now investigating the club, which could face a points penalty. Administrators brought into Wigan Athletic have since made 75 members of staff from the non-playing side of the club redundant.

“The plight that Wigan Athletic, Leeds United, Portsmouth, Bury, Oldham Athletic, Bolton Wanderers, and countless others have found themselves in must never be allowed to happen again,” say WAOSC.

“We must not stand back and allow history to keep repeating itself without fundamental change to protect our clubs. People lose their jobs, assets are stripped, lifelong supporters have the heart of their club destroyed and in the worst cases this is never rebuilt.”

The petition has the support of local MP Lisa Nandy who called on government to “review the rules and protect clubs from the failed system that forced us into administration”. Nandy has been a vocal supporter of the club’s fans and wrote to sports minister Oliver Dowden when Wigan’s administration was announced.

The Football Supporters’ Association has long called for the establishment of more independent financial regulations within the game and our proposals have received the support of the FA Council and DCMS Select Committee.

The 2019 Conservative Party manifesto also included a commitment to a “fan led” review of football governance which “which will include consideration of the Owners and Directors Test”. Last week the Labour Party urged the Government to get started on that work “before it is too late”.

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