Wigan Athletic: Owners should ‘never have been allowed to take over’ – Sam Morsy

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Sam Morsy

Wigan lost just one of their final 15 games in the Championship but were relegated on the final day because of their points deduction

Wigan’s owners should “never have been allowed to take over the club”, according to club captain Sam Morsy.

The Latics were given a 12-point deduction for going into administration at the start of July, weeks after a change in ownership.

They were relegated to League One on the last day of the season following a 1-1 draw with Fulham.

“To be relegated like that is unbelievable, to be honest with you,” Morsy said.

Wigan have appealed against the points deduction, with the hearing set for Friday.

Morsy has called on the English Football League to look at the regulations required for club owners.

Until 2018, the club was owned by Dave Whelan, who steered them from the fourth tier of English football to the Premier League in 2005, and they also won the FA Cup in 2013.

Whelan sold the club to Hong Kong-based International Entertainment Corporation in November 2018; there was a further change of ownership in May when Next Leader Fund took control.

Paul Stanley, Gerald Krasner and Dean Watson of Begbies Traynor have been appointed as joint administrators.

Morsy said: “It hasn’t been handled well. I think they [the EFL] need to look at the rules going forward.

“The three worst teams who get the least amount of points should be relegated and we all know that. But unfortunately this season it’s going to be decided in the boardroom and not on the football pitch which it should be.

“It has come out the blue. It wasn’t a case of Wigan having been under investigation for a year and tried to do this and that. In January, we signed a couple of loan players and only one played.

“It wasn’t like we spent £50m in January to try to survive. It’s not right is it? The new owner should never have been allowed to take over the club.”

Morsy captained the side through a run of form that saw them lose only one of their final 15 games.

Without the points deduction, Wigan would have been 13th in the Championship and Morsy said this was an “amazing achievement” considering the players were not paid for part of the campaign.

Players took a wage deferral when the season stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “We were actually the first team in the Championship to take our deferral, just because we were getting taken over by new owners.

“I had assurances from the club that the reason why we were going to be the first was that the new owners were serious about the club and wanted to put money in.

“The lads have been absolutely amazing, even before coming back.

“We wanted to just do our best and give it our all. To a man we did, although we didn’t get enough points to stay up with the 12-point deduction, I’m very proud of the players. Every single player sacrificed, so for that you can’t ask for more.”

Morsy has not spoken to manager Paul Cook but it has been reported that he is set to leave the club.

“He was led to believe that this summer there would be a little bit of money to spend to further enhance the team,” Morsy said.

“He will feel disappointed as well. I can take failure all day. If you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough. But to get 12 points taken off you at such a late stage is unbelievable.”

England youth midfielders Alfie Devine and Jensen Weir have been sold to raise funds to keep the club running and Morsy – who played for Egypt at the 2018 World Cup – says his future is in the hands of the administrator.

“I might get a call from the administrator tomorrow saying pack your bags and leave,” he said. “It’s just a really strange scenario. We will just have to see how the appeal gets on.”

The EFL declined to comment when contacted by BBC Sport.