How Wigan might avoid Championship relegation despite finishing second from bottom

How Wigan might avoid Championship relegation despite finishing second from bottom
Wigan Athletic v Fulham – Sky Bet Championship – DW Stadium

The Championship season reached a thrilling climax on Wednesday evening but there was heartbreak for Hull, Charlton and Wigan who finished in the bottom three.

However, there could be further twists and turns to come before the three teams dropping into League One are known for certain.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the complicating factors.

What about Wigan’s appeal?

Administrators have confirmed they are pressing ahead with an appeal against the 12-point penalty which left them in the bottom three, despite costs of up to £500,000 to the cash-strapped club win or lose.

They will argue against the sanction under the ‘force majeure’ clause, because of the wholly unexpected nature of the decision by the club’s owner, Au Yeung Wai Kay, to place them in administration.

What if they lose?

Wigan administrator Gerald Krasner has not considered whether further action would be taken in the event of losing their appeal (Handout/Appeal PR)

If Wigan lose the appeal there is no further recourse under EFL regulations. The administrators say they have not considered any further action in that event at this stage.

What if Wigan won?

Barnsley celebrate survival after their win at Brentford (John Walton/PA)

If the points penalty was wiped out, or reduced sufficiently to take them out of the bottom three, then Barnsley would drop into the relegation zone. The South Yorkshire club might then consider action of their own.

What about Sheffield Wednesday’s case?

The EFL charged Sheffield Wednesday over the circumstances related to the sale of Hillsborough, pictured (Anthony Devlin/PA)

It has been reported that an independent commission has heard the Owls’ case, which concerns EFL misconduct charges over the circumstances around the sale of Hillsborough.

The Yorkshire club could face a penalty of up to 21 points if found to have committed an aggravated breach of the EFL’s rules, which would drop them to the bottom of the table.

Even a nine-point deduction would be enough to relegate them.

Could Sheffield Wednesday appeal?

Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri (PA Video)

Yes, the club would have 14 days to appeal against the outcome of the hearing. But the EFL also has the right to appeal if it disagrees with the independent commission’s decision, or the sanctions it imposes.

So could Charlton potentially get a stay of execution?

Lee Bowyer’s Charlton finished in the bottom three after losing at Leeds on Wednesday (Tim Goode/PA)

It is possible, if Sheffield Wednesday were deducted sufficient points to put them in the bottom three at the end of that process, and Wigan’s appeal was unsuccessful.

When will more be known?

Wigan’s appeal will be heard on July 31 but a decision on the case would not come for a few weeks. If Sheffield Wednesday’s case has been heard, as has been reported, a decision could be imminent. But if either side appeals against the outcome, a final decision in that case would not come until next month at the earliest.

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