Kevin Phillips admitted his thoughts went straight to Sunderland when he heard the news that Wigan Athletic had gone into administration. 

The former Black Cat, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, is “praying” that the same does not happen to his former club but fears other teams will follow the Championship side.

Wigan Athletic announced last week that they had gone into administration after the coronavirus pandemic had a “serious impact” on the club’s finances.

The Black Cats have made no secret of their economic struggles of late after they extended the furlough of their staff until 31 August without top up.

Season ticket holders have also been told that they will not receive their refunds until 17 August at the earliest.

When asked by Football Insider if he was growing concerned with the finances at the Stadium of Light, Phillips said: “It is a worry but not just for Sunderland.

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“It has been a disaster for Wigan and it would not surprise me if it has a snowball affect. I suspect other teams will follow. When I heard my thoughts sprung to Sunderland straight away.

“I really hope it doesn’t. I am praying.

“You never know what is going on in the background so it is a big concern but only time will tell. It is a real shame to see with Wigan.”

However, chief executive, Jim Rodwell, eased fans fears: “Wigan is a cautionary tale, that is what can happen and they will not be the last.

“We are simply not in that position.”

In other Sunderland news, it can be REVEALED that Oxford United have joined Black Cats in the race for Ipswich Town attacker.

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