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Wigan still reliant on Whelan

Wigan Athletic have managed to reduce its losses to £5.8m from £11.2m in its last financial year, although like many clubs still rely on the generosity of their owner to keep them afloat, in the North West club's case Dave Whealen.

Whelan is still propping the club up through a £38.9m interest free loan.  The loan to the Barclays Premier League side is made through Whelco, another of his companies, and Whelan has also guaranteed an £18m bank loan from Barclays to the club.

The club said that it would continue to make losses for the next two years, even if it remains in the top flight. It has net liabilities of £53.9m compared with £48.1m at the end of the previous year.

Turnover at the club in the year to May 31, 2009, increased to £46.2m from £42.8m with gate receipts rising to £4.8m from £4.3m. The club has now been in the Premier League for five seasons.

It received £15.7m of television money, up from £15.5m the previous year and £24.2m in prize money for its 11th place finish, up from £21.3m in the previous year.

Wages at the club increased to £42.1m from£38.5m, however, although it did managed to bring down the amount it paid to players' agents, to £2.3m from £3.2m. It also banked £15m after the year-end by selling Antonio Valencia to Manchester United.

Writing on the accounts, Whelan said: "Football is not immune to the current economic challenges. All revenue streams are expected to come under pressure during the forthcoming season and beyond." He said all areas of cost would be "closely monitored".

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