Bitcoin Entrepreneur May Bail Out Ailing UK Soccer Club

Jonathan Rowland, founder of bitcoin finance app Mode, may make a bid for struggling British soccer club Wigan Athletic.

Dec 1, 2020 at 10:47 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:36 a.m. UTC

Struggling British soccer club Wigan Athletic may have a new investor to save the day, as banker and bitcoin magnate Jonathan Rowland is named the latest bidder, according to a Monday report from The Sun.

  • Wigan went into administration in July 2020, only four weeks after a Hong Kong-based consortium took over the club. The coronavirus pandemic is said to have had a significant impact on the football club's finances.
  • The estimated cost for taking the club out of administration is around £3 million ($4.02 million) and a further £5 million ($6.69 million) is needed to convince the English Football League (EFL) of its long-term plans. 
  • According to the report, Rowland is “willing to fund" a bid proposed by former professional soccer player Ray Ranson and former Wigan Chairman Darren Royle.
  • Rowland is the founder of bitcoin finance app Mode and online investment company Jellyworks, launched at the height of the dot-com boom.
  • He is reportedly close friends with Prince Andrew and worth an estimated £600 million ($803 million). In 2005, Prince Andrew unveiled a life-size bronze statue of Rowland smoking a cigar in Guernsey.
  • Two unnamed Spanish investors are also bidding for the soccer club, with meetings taking place in November, reports Wigan Today.
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