Wigan Athletic fail in appeal against 12-point deduction as relegation to League One is confirmed

WIGAN ATHLETIC'S hope of a relegation reprieve was shattered by an EFL appeals panel that confirmed a 12-point penalty.

Latics administrators lost out at the end of a season of pain and the decision to enforce the punishment means they go down to League One.

The appeal, costing an estimated £480,000 at the hard-up outfit, fell on deaf ears – with Barnsley left celebrating their survival.

Three top judges were called in for one of the most delicate decisions the EFL faced and they went through the arguments put forward by Wigan’s side.

So the decision of Hong Kong owners Au Yeung and Stanley Choi to pull the plug at the start of July has sent their old club down.

And while the recriminations and investigations into their behaviour go on, Wigan are now left facing a bleak few weeks as they fight for their future.

Wigan said: "The club put forward a strong case and naturally we are disappointed at the decision. The first-team management will now prepare the team for next season's League One campaign."

The club put forward a strong case and naturally we are disappointed at the decision

The cost of relegation is painful for Latics who miss out on the TV money at Championship level and will have to rebuild with a lesser hand-out.

That payment drops from around £6.2 million to an estimated £775,000 in League One and leaves their next owners with little help.

Left back Antonee Robinson can now leave for a bargain £1.5 million because of a clause in his deal when he signed from Everton.

The United States international, who was set to sign for AC Milan in a move worth £6 million and rising in January, could go for a fraction of that fee.

Midfielder Joe Williams, who has now suffered three relegations in a row, also has a fixed price in his deal – of around £2.5 million.

Deals for target man Kieffer Moore and young striker Joe Gelhardt will have to be hurried along to help the cash flow.

Bizarrely Moore’s imminent £2 million exit will pay for HIMSELF as former club Barnsley are due an instalment of around £1.5 million for selling him a year ago.

The EFL will take the cash from sales and distribute them to Wigan’s football creditors, leaving the change for the unpaid salaries and wage deferral schemes.

The players left in the squad will also now face massive cuts in their salaries, around 40 to 50 per cent.

That will save a large amount from the payroll next season, but it is a savage blow for the squad who thought they had beaten the drop.

Those wages are now late and a sale or two is needed or the squad can serve notice and walk out for nothing.

The administrators have also been frustrated by two more preferred bidders failing to sign up in the last few days.

The asking price of the club is dropping and that may bring Wigan Warriors RL chief Ian Lenagan back into play.

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