Negotiations between Wigan’s administrators and the preferred bidder to buy the club have broken down.
The administrators issued a statement on Friday to say that the breakdown had occurred because of the preferred bidder’s “non-compliance in the first stage of exclusivity”.
The administrators are now in discussions with the next preferred bidder out of the five offers which were received.
The club were placed in administration on July 1, despite a change of ownership less than a month before.
The preferred bidder had only been announced on Wednesday, the same day that the club were relegated to League One pending the outcome of an appeal against the 12-point penalty imposed for entering administration.
Administrator Gerald Krasner said the first stage of the exclusivity process involved the preferred bidder confirming that the funds to complete the purchase were being held by their lawyers, and the payment of a £100,000 bond to cover the administrators’ legal costs should the bidder withdraw.
The administrators added: “Until either the bidder themselves, or the Football League (EFL), elects to announce the identity of the party that is now in exclusive process to acquire the club and its assets, that will remain confidential.”
Krasner said on Wednesday that the preferred bid was “the best one both for the creditors of the company and for Wigan as a football club”.
Local MP Lisa Nandy tweeted: “This is really difficult news for staff, fans and the whole town.
“With the points appeal ongoing we really have been put in an impossible position. There has been lots of interest so no reason to give up hope. @LaticsOfficial is a great club and should have a secure future #wafc”
The appeal against the 12-point penalty will be heard on July 31.