CEO of Sunderland's League One promotion rivals hits back at 'buying the league' claims following criticism from Doncaster, Accrington Stanley, Bolton, Lincoln City, Plymouth Argyle, Portsmouth and Rotherham United chiefs

Wigan Athletic CEO Mal Brannigan has defended the club’s summer spending after Doncaster Rovers boss Richie Wellens became the latest figure to address the Latics’ recruitment.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 6:00 pm

Leam Richardson oversaw a big turnover to his playing squad with former Sunderland players such as Jordan Jones, Charlie Wyke and Max Power joining.

Wellens, speaking after his Rovers side lost 2-1 at the DW Stadium, said: “Wigan don't need a leg up with the spending power they have.”

Senior figures from Accrington Stanley, Bolton Wanderers, Lincoln City, Plymouth Argyle, Portsmouth and Rotherham United have also commented on their situation – which has sparked a huge response from Brannigan.

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The DW Stadium, the home of Wigan Athletic. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

When asked whether Latics had gone beyond their budget, Brannigan told our sister title the Wigan Post: “The board would never let me go above the budget!

“What I do think is we’ve been very canny in terms of how we’ve done some of the deals.

“We’ve continually talked about stability, and how we manage this football club going forward in the long term.

“The moment you start to go outside of that, for example in terms of budget, it can sort of start to unravel in other areas.

“We were given a strong budget within which to work.

“I am aware of the amount of comment and discussion from some of the industry that we have gone out and bought where we are in the league.

“But no other club had to go out and do what we had to this summer.

“So while people will see we have spent a lot of money, what they may not have realised is that it needed to be done.

“Most clubs will have players contracted for two, three or four years ahead, and they know they have a certain amount of spend heading into those years based on those contracts.

“We didn’t have any of that. We started with six contracted players from last season, so we naturally had to build.”

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