A consortium of Australian investors is poised to make a bid to buy crisis-hit former Premier League club Wigan Athletic.
The group, fronted by Sydney investment fund RDR Investment Partners, is pulling together a multi-million dollar bid to purchase the English League One club with an aim to make it a stepping stone to European clubs for young Australian players.
Wigan famously won the 2013 FA Cup final against giants Manchester City but have endured a turbulent time since that day.
In July last year the Latics became the first English club to enter administration during the COVID-19 pandemic just four weeks after a Hong Kong-based investment firm had bought the then-Championship team.
A new owner has yet to be found in the months since but the Australian-based consortium is in the first steps of putting in a bid.
"We are interested in purchasing Wigan and put our hat in the ring," RDR managing partner Daniel Hallami told AAP.
The Sydney-based group has previously attempted to purchase fellow English club Charlton Athletic in 2018 and expressed interest in A-League club Central Coast Mariners before ending discussions with owner Mike Charlesworth.
It's understood RDR would spend $6.2 million to purchase the club and provide a $7.1 million operating budget for a two-year period to the EFL.
Hallami said while talks were in very early stages, the overall plan is to use the club to bring in young Australian talent and then on-sell those players to other English and European teams.
"We'd look to establish a feeder system ... with the grassroots Australian talents and opening up the UK doors to them," he said.
"With the likes of Brexit coming in, any Commonwealth countries, it's going to be a lot easier for them to attain UK visas ... it's sort of forming the perfect storm and there's a there's a lot of opportunities."
The RDR bid is not the only one looking at purchasing Wigan with a Bahrain-based consortium apparently well advanced in their talks with the EFL as well as one other reported bidder.
Wigan sit bottom of League One after 32 matches this season and have just 14 matches to climb out of the relegation zone and avoid dropping into English league football's bottom tier.