Why buoyant Wigan cannot wait for Portsmouth's history-making visit to the DW Stadium

Wigan have a new owner – after nine months in administration.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 11:30 am
Pompey lost 2-1 to Wigan in their Fratton Park encounter in September. Picture: Joe Pepler

And Pompey will be the first visitors to the DW Stadium for the new era as the buoyant Latics look ahead to a promising future.

Danny Cowley’s men travel to Lancashire on Bank Holiday Monday in League One, seeking to strengthen their play-off push.

They will meet a club lifted by the arrival of a consortium led by Bahraini businessman Abdulrahman Al-Jasmi.

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A deal had been agreed earlier this month, however it received Football League ratification on Tuesday.

It finally ends uncertainty over Wigan’s future, which saw them relegated from the Championship and then entering administration in July 2020.

Former Pompey assistant Leam Richardson has been overseeing the Latics as caretaker manager since John Sheridan left for Swindon in November.

Presently 22nd in League One, they are still one point from safety with nine matches remaining.

Now the sale to Phoenix 2021 Limited, a UK-based company owned by Al-Jasmi, will see Talal Al-Hammad installed as the club's new chairman.

In a statement on the club’s website, Al-Hammad said: ‘This is the start of a new chapter in the history of Wigan Athletic.

‘Personally, I feel excited and happy to start this new challenge. When I read messages from the supporters, I automatically feel positive and optimistic about the club's future. I thank all the fans who stood by the club, especially in the last nine months. Wigan Athletic fans are no different from a family standing together through thick and thin.

‘All of the staff and players have gone to great lengths for this club despite the limited resources and tools in recent months. For the sacrifices of all the staff – not just the football staff – we are very thankful because they are the real heroes here. We can only thank them for all they have provided and for supporting the club in such circumstances.

‘Above all, the encouragement we have received from all Wigan Athletic supporters everywhere has been overwhelming and heartfelt, underlining that the decision to be part of Wigan Athletic’s future is the right one.

‘The fans have stayed with the Club through a very dark period and we will do all we can to make sure the future of the Club is a much healthier and stable one.’

Struggling Wigan’s first match under new ownership is tonight’s trip to Gillingham (5.30pm).

They will then host Pompey on Monday (3pm), signifying the consortium’s opening DW Stadium fixture.

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