Championship side Wigan Athletic have been fined £40,000 and warned about their future conduct following the signing of Marc-Antoine Fortune and the related agency activities of Willie McKay.
The Football Association divulged the information via its official website but went into little detail as to the nature of the violation. All that the FA stated is that Wigan have been fined “after breaching The FA’s Football Agents Regulation C10(a)(i)."
Both Wigan and McKay have admitted to breaking the regulation, with the agent also being warned of his future conduct and having his Overseas Agent Registration suspended for nine months. The FA added, “Mr McKay, as an Overseas Agent, will be reported to his licencing National Association (The Scottish FA) for this misconduct.”
Both the fine for the club and the suspension for McKay are subject to appeal.
Fortune has made 46 appearances in total for the Latics this season across three competitions but has failed to find the net on a regular basis, scoring just five times. The 32-year-old has formerly played for West Brom and Celtic, amongst others, and signed for Wigan last summer on a free transfer.
This is not the first time McKay has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons. The Scot was fined for driving whilst disqualified in 2012 and cautioned for possessing drugs in the same incident, per the Mirror. With a ban and an ever-worsening reputation, it may not be too long before we see the end of McKay’s involvement in English football.
As for Wigan, everyone involved with the club will be hoping that the news does not affect the side as they prepare for the play-offs. Good form from the Latics under Uwe Rosler has seen them guaranteed a play-off place with a game to spare. The last thing they need is an off-the-field problem derailing their season.
In terms of the financial burden of a £40,000 fine, it should not weigh too heavily on the club. Last time Wigan issued financial statements at the end of last year, chief executive Jonathan Jackson reported, per the team's official website: “By increasing turnover and controlling costs the Club is continuing to report a healthy position in respect of profitability and debt.”
As a result, such a fine won't hurt too much financially, yet the negative publicity is still not ideal.