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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