(Reuters) - Wigan Athletic have been deducted three points after the second-tier club failed to pay player salaries this month, the English Football League (EFL) said on Monday.
Wigan, who are bottom of the Championship, had also been charged earlier this season for late payments in June, July and October last year. The north-west club now have 31 points and sit eight points from the safety zone.
"This latest infringement by the club to meet its obligations means the terms of the Agreed Decision the club entered into with the EFL in January 2023 has been breached and the application of the suspended sporting sanction has been automatically triggered," the EFL said in a statement.
The club's owner was required to deposit an amount equal to 125% of the forecast monthly wage bill in a designated account which would be used in case there were delays in processing payments but failed to do so.
"In a further breach of the Agreed Decision, the club's owner has failed to deposit an amount equal to 125% of its forecast monthly wage bill in a designated club account," the EFL added.
"This had been a key term of the Agreed Decision to help prevent the club breaching EFL Regulations again, should there be future delays in the processing of overseas payments."
The EFL said Wigan's owner will also be charged with misconduct. The club was taken over in 2021 by Phoenix 2021 Limited, which is led by Bahraini businessman Abdulrahman Al-Jasmi who said he wanted to bring back the 'glory days'.
"The club notes the EFL statement and charge and will issue a further update on the current wage situation in due course," Wigan said.
Wigan spent eight seasons in the Premier League before in the 2012-13 campaign becoming the first club win the FA Cup and be relegated in the same season.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)