Since hiding information and keeping the supporters’ trust in the dark, this week the clubs secretive administrators announced an offer “too good to be true” has been accepted from a Begbies Traynor “preferred” Spanish bidder for the Wigan Athletic takeover.
Club supporters were told a “substantial deposit” has now been received and premature Latics fans began their short lived celebrations, until now. The mysterious Spanish consortium is revealed.
We can now reveal the man behind the takeover is Chris Farnell. With an abysmal track record in football, Wigan fans are left fearing for the worst.
Farnell was more recently in charge of Bury who suffered liquidation and before that was famously forced out of Charlton Athletic for questionable behaviour. Farnell was also involved in the mess with Leeds United advising owner Massimo Celino. At the time Cellino had two suspended convictions for fraud. Despite the takeover not being complete, Farnell called the then Leeds Manager Brian McDermott and sacked him. McDermott was reinstated the following day and Farnell was ushered out of Elland Road. Farnell has made a habit of trying to bring less than credible people to the forefront of football clubs. At Bury, Farnell tried to push Gustavo Bendito a pastor and director of a tiny Christian football club based in Lewisham as the man who was going to save the club. At Charlton both Tahnoon Nimer and Paul Elliott were brought to the table by Farnell.
Farnell was charged with one count of assault after an incident at his family home in Leeds during which his wife suffered a perforated eardrum. She claimed: “He charged at me with his shoulder and pushed me on to the arm of the sofa so I fell on to the seat. I then stood up and he came at me still shouting and he hit me on the side of my head. I don’t know whether it was a punch or with an open hand.” He was cleared after arguing that he did not lash out at his wife.
Steve Penny, a former Swansea City board member said he was “bullied” and “intimidated” into resigning his position when the football club was sold. Penny described how club lawyer Chris Farnell told him there would be “implications” if he refused to give up his directors position ahead of the takeover.
Despite all the negative publicity of being a danger to any club he touches, Farnell was also recently reported showing interest in Macclesfield Town before pulling out last week due to being notified of the lack of interest at the DW Stadium.
With his long track record in destroying football clubs, Farnell alone would no doubt fail the fit and proper persons test set by the EFL as he has tried and failed. So in order to deceive both the club and the EFL, Farnell joins forces with long term Spanish football connection, Roberto Martínez.
Whilst Martínez is known as a successful credible football manager, close sources say that he is incredibly shrewd in business and can be cut-throat. Together Farnell and Martínez assembled his Spanish contacts to front the bid to create a job for his boys. Farnell law firm IPS Law LLP @IPSLaw expressed a public interest earlier this summer regarding Wigan Athletic on Twitter:
EFL Supremo Rick Parry says English football has been “disrespected” by the “tremendous shock” of Wigan going into administration. “It’s no use just talking about owners’ and directors’ tests as if that is going to solve all of the problems. You really need to go back to why did we end up with Chinese owners in the lower reaches of the Championship in the first place?”
Whilst the fans now conclude Farnell is no doubt a threat to Wigan’s future as he is openly known to view football clubs as property deals. Parry has already said “We need to make our clubs sustainable – we shouldn’t be relying on random foreign owners.”
The clubs fate now lies in Parry’s hands for Wigan’s future but the supporters, they’re left wishing for a deal with alternative promising bidder, closer to home.