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Wigan Owners Were Given Tour of Town - But With No Intention of Buying the Club
Wednesday, 10th Jul 2019 17:32

Wigan Athletic owners International Entertaining Corporation (IEC) were given a tour of Portman Road and Playford Road prior to their purchase of the Latics - but without having any intention of taking over the Blues.

Rumours regarding Hong Kong-based IEC’s visit to the club early in 2017 have been circulating on the TWTD Forum and social media in recent days with claims that they were in talks with owner Marcus Evans regarding a takeover at Town.

However, the man who took them on the tour of the stadium and training ground, former Blues midfielder Simon Milton, then the club’s director of academy sales who left Portman Road later that year, says that wasn’t the case.

Ex-Town boss Joe Royle is a director of Wigan and his son Darren is the club’s executive chairman and at the time of the visit they were in the early stages of their relationship with IEC.

Milton says Royle asked if they could be given a tour of Town as they sought to familiarise IEC representatives with English football clubs but without there being any intention of making a move for the Blues specifically.

“It was as a favour to Joe and his son, because he was acting as a broker for them,” Milton told TWTD.

“I said, ‘Come and have a look at Ipswich Town and it will give you an idea where Ipswich are as a Championship club, with their facilities at Portman Road and also up at Playford Road’. Marcus was never involved.

“This was a favour, showing them around the stadium and the training ground, which I did constantly if I thought people were interested in becoming corporate sponsors or academy sponsors.”

He added: “I certainly didn’t get the feel that I was showing these people around Ipswich Town Football Club for them to possibly purchase it in the future.”

IEC eventually agreed a £22 million deal to buy Wigan in May 2018 with their ownership confirmed in November.

Photo: Action Images

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AlexGreen added 17:38 - Jul 10
Anyone else got about two thousand click-bait links following the article? Almost impossible to navigate!

thorpedo added 18:05 - Jul 10
Probably wanted to see how not to run a club.

PhilTWTD added 18:06 - Jul 10
Sorry about that, was a 'feature' introduced by a third party which has now been corrected.

BlueandTruesince82 added 18:50 - Jul 10
But wait were we not told on these very pages (not by Phil of course) that these guys wanted to buy the club, that Ebeneezer Evans wouldn't sell?

jas0999 added 20:06 - Jul 10
Shame. Would be good to get rid of Evans.

MrTown added 20:16 - Jul 10
Can I have a tour please?

Likewise, got no intention of buying the club but if we are all having a go, why not.

SouperJim added 08:00 - Jul 11
Do you know Joe Royle?

TBT added 08:13 - Jul 11
Wouldn’t it be lovely to hear about this properly from the office of the people that are running our club down instead of an independent stalwart like Simon Milton talking about a stadium tour.
Once or twice a year we are patronised by some pithy “business-speak” statement about five year plans, youth development and ambition (seriously?!) within the club.
Most of us hang on every word of these morsels in the vain and desperate hope that ME actually cares, but guess what......

Bluearmy_81 added 09:52 - Jul 11
TBT. Indeed. Some are simply more gullible than others.

BeattiesBackPocket added 13:15 - Jul 11
Sorry but why would anyone waste their time either providing the tour or coming for a tour of a football club they have no interest in? I smell bull

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