Thread by @marksparko on Twitter.
Published to highlight the dodgy dealings that could happen in football. We all know even with County, there has been charlatans sniffing around our Club when in financial freefall:
“A thread: How Wigan Athletic have been victim to one of the greatest sporting scandals of all time.
In 2018 Dave Whelan sold Wigan Athletic to Hong Kong based International Entertainment Corporation (IEC) who specialise in gambling. Owned by professional poker player Stanley Choi of Hong Kong.
June 2020. The club officially changed hands to Next Leader Fund (NLF) based in the Cayman Islands and only set up in January 2020. Majority share in NLF? You guessed it, Stanley Choi. How did NLF afford the takeover? A loan.
IEC loaned NLF £28million with an interest rate of 8% rising to 20% if not paid back in 12 months. That’s £100,000 a week in payments which Wigan would not be able to afford. Sounds dodgy as hell right? Well the EFL didn’t seem to think swiftly approving the terms of sale.
On 24th June, NLF switched hands to a new majority stakeholder, Au Yeung Wai Kay. A week later, Chinese lawyers contacted administrators to instruct them to seize control of the club. The administrators themselves can’t even contact the owners, who have clearly ‘done a runner’.
Has Au Yeung Wai Kay always dreamed of owning a football club in Lancashire? Doubt it. He paid £17million for the club + £28million in loan repayments. That’s £45million pounds to own a club for 7 days and then place it into admin. Why would anybody do that?
Well, here’s why… This is a video of the head of the English Football League, Richard Parry, stating he’s heard a rumour that there was a big bet placed on Wigan’s relegation in the Philippines. Remember the past owner was a professional gambler who owned a string of casinos? https://t.co/uW3PTkrOAL
This video has since been confirmed as Rick Parry by the EFL.
I wonder which Philippine-based gambling company could have been used? Well look no further than the front of Wigan’s shirts. KB88 bet. Director of KB88, Tat Man Cheung, left the company prior to take over then was reinstated 12 days before Wigan was placed into administration.
KB88 brought into the club by the past owner and Darren Royle (Current Wigan Chairman). Royle used to work for KB88 Bet. He was also responsible for recommending IEC to Wigan Athletic when Whelan was looking to sell.
Royle, since the administration news, has deleted his LinkedIn account. A coincidence or to cover up communications?
So why would somebody place a club into admin 7 days after owning them and only 6 games before the end of the season? -12 points is the sanction from the EFL, dragging Wigan back into the relegation places. Nobody would want that surely?
Unless maybe you (or a close ally) gambled on the club going down and panicked as they started to pick up points and climb away. Does Au Yeung Wai Kay even exist? Or is he a fictional front man to keep Choi out of trouble?
Let me now take you back to August 2019, witnesses in the stand saw somebody get thrown out of the stadium for being wired up and illegally betting. Where in the world was he wired up to? Hong Kong. There’s a history of betting scams.
“It’s a well run club and the oddest situation I’ve ever seen” was the verdict of administrator Gerald Krasner. Wigan have always been a well run club, loss making, but controlled. We rely on funding from owners and have only spent money we either had or believed was incoming.
This money was quickly pulled from under the club’s feet by a transaction that was sanctioned by the EFL only weeks prior. The same EFL that then issued a -12 point penalty, punishing the club but potentially rewarding the owners and their carefully constructed plan.
This is an international scandal that requires investigation at the highest level. Facilitated willingly by the EFL who proceeded to punish innocent people based on their own failings. We may be too far down the line to save Wigan but this CANNOT be allowed to happen to others.
Finally, a massive thanks to @sammorsy08 Paul Cook and the rest of the lads. You are all heroes as I hear despite looking at 20% pay you’re all on the bus to Brentford.
Please share this thread, this is potentially the greatest football scandal of all time!”
Of course, the above is merely a reproduction of allegations published in the public domain. The correct legal authorities including administrators will no doubt uncover the precise facts and whether the above content is factually correct or not. But an intriguing story and proposition it has to be said. We like others will follow the news as this further unfolds – and will try and buy a cardboard cut out from the S’PORT as a token gesture of support.