Rovers boss Tony Mowbray has wished Wigan Athletic well after the club was put in to administration this week and said there were no signs of what were to come during his chats with Latics boss Paul Cook.

A deal to sell the club from the Hong Kong-based International Entertainment Corporation (IEC) to the Next Leader Fund was only formally completed on June 4, and administrator Gerald Krasner of insolvency practitioner Begbies Traynor said that the events of the last few weeks must be looked at in time.

For now the focus is on finishing the season, and on finding a buyer, with the Latics set to be hit with a 12 point deduction at a time when they looked to have secured their safety with a run of seven clean sheets in a row, including last weekend’s win over Rovers.

“We played them just recently, speaking to Cooky there was no signs,” Mowbray said.

“Normally as a manager he might have whispered in my ear if things aren’t right behind the scenes. They were in a good place, they had kept seven clean sheets on the bounce, won six of them games.

“It’s unbelievable to think of the season they’ve had really.

“Does anything surprise you in football? These are unprecedented times, the games are unusual, you are turning up and it’s like a practice match but the results are as they always are.

“Wigan won the FA Cup not too long ago, Martinez got them playing great football and Cooky is doing amazingly well with them after coming out of League One and holding their own in this football.

“I wish them well. I know they’re rivals, but competition is everything in football and we’ve been on a similar journey to Wigan, down to League One and back, and now both trying to push on and compete with some massive clubs in this division.

“I wish them well, I wish Cooky well, he’s a good football man, they play the right way and let’s wait and see, hopefully things turn for the better.”

While Wigan’s plight isn’t thought to be directly linked to the financial impact of Covid-19, there are fears that many EFL clubs could follow.

And Mowbray said: “I think the reality is that it has to be a fear. Football is like any other business, you need to have income as well as expenditure. They have to balance off at some stage.

“I know owners generally make losses in football, unless you’re a worldwide phenomenon.

“Here we rely on season tickets, rely on merchandise, supporters who invest and through advertising around the club.

“Unfortunately that’s not happening, but the expenditure still goes out, the players’ salaries still go out, I know this club, like a lot, we’ve deferred money.

“I don’t know the individual situations of owners, some have huge multi-million pound businesses, some are local businesses who are hoping they can use some extra cash to keep clubs going, but there’s no extra cash coming in.

“It’s very difficult for those people who aren’t multi-conglomerate businesses without millions and millions, or billions, to see out five or six months.

“I don’t know the situation at Wigan, but if the owners think it’s not sustainable and made a decision, then there might be other situations where other owners are on the cusp and don’t know whether they can pay next month’s salaries.”