Wigan Athletic legend Emmerson Boyce hopes new owners come in with 'long term plan'

  • Video report by Granada Reports sports journalist Arun Lal

Wigan Athletic legend Emmerson Boyce says he hopes the new owners of the club come in with a long-term "sustainable" plan.

Boyce captained Wigan to a shock FA Cup win over Manchester City at Wembley in 2013.

Since then, the club's fortunes have diminished significantly with the Latics being relegated to League One and failing to pay their staff and players.

A deal has now been agreed in principle for the sale of Wigan Athletic, according to the current ownership group.

The deal will require EFL approval and no details of the prospective buyer were given in a brief statement posted on the club’s website on Sunday 4 June.

Emmerson Boyce lifting the FA Cup at Wembley in 2013. Credit: ITV Sport

Emmerson said: "It's a waiting game. It's never nice to hear players and staff aren't being paid.

"Hopefully the new owners come in with a long term plan that's sustainable. We shouldn't be talking about Wigan in this state.

"We've got a good promising manager there in Shaun Maloney and hopefully the new owners can invest and help the team push next season.

"It is very difficult to get back into the Premier League."

Wigan released a statement announcing the potential buyer, saying: "The prospective new owners have committed to resolving all outstanding liabilities at the earliest opportunity.

"Further updates on this process will follow in due course."

The Latics will start the 2023/24 season on minus eight points in League One due to late payments of wages.

Lisa Nandy, the Labour MP for Wigan said: "We have an idea of who they are. The key for us is that any owner has the best interests of Wigan Athletic at heart.

"We have been in this situation too many times in recent years and it's been heartbreaking and agonising for staff, players and fans.

"I want the Wigan Athletic family to know that we are doing everything we can to save the club and safeguard its future. We are fighting a battle to ensure no club needs to end up here again."

In this latest episode of From the North we ask how can we help our mental health during the most difficult times in life?