WARRINGTON Wolves chairman Stuart Middleton fears that events at nearby Wigan Athletic this week are a warning sign of more pain to come from the coronavirus pandemic.

Concerning news for all involved with the Latics, the Championship football club who went into administration on Wednesday in the wake of sport's three-month suspension, left Middleton 'shocked' and worried for not only other professional sport organisations but business in general.

“To be honest it’s a bit of a shock really because I thought they had some big backers from China or Hong Kong," said multi-millionaire Middleton, 56, who is creative director of Card Factory.

“I think there’s a lot more to come with businesses. I think it’s going to be a two-to-three year recovery for most businesses and I think there’ll be a lot more casualties along the way."

Middleton, Wolves owner Simon Moran and the club's board of directors have committed a seven-figure sum to help ease the burden of the £1.4m loss suffered by the Warrington club during its shutdown period, which is now approaching four months but sees some light at the end of the tunnel with Super League set to resume next month.

“I certainly think for rugby league it’s hard enough without this Covid-19 to break even as a business," said Middleton.

"We still need to invest in the sport. We invest heavily in our playing team, a few marquee players, our structure, our youth structures, the stadium.

“These clubs need investment as well going forward and again it’s hard enough in normal circumstances.

“There’s unknown questions really. When will we get fans back through the door? How are the sponsors going to be, will they still be in business, are they going to be as strong?

“I think this is the tip of the iceberg. I think there’s a lot more pain to come, not just for ourselves, but the likes of our supporters and sponsors.”