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Administration-threatened Bolton courted by new owners

By Matthew Campelli    04 Dec 2015
The Macron Stadium is the home of Bolton Wanderers FC / Bolton Wanderers FC

Potential new owners are circling Bolton Wanderers (BWFC) as the football club attempts to stave off the growing threat of administration.

The Championship club failed to pay its players in November after racking up debts of £172.9m (US$261.2m, €240.1m), owed almost entirely to owner Eddie Davies, while insolvency professional Trevor Birch has come aboard to find a buyer.

Voluntary administration is a distinct possibility for Bolton, who currently sit bottom of the league with 12 points. Going into administration would bring a 12-point deduction, pushing the Lancashire club closer to relegation to League One.

During a press conference yesterday (3 December), the team’s manager Neil Lennon said there were “three of four interested parties” and that the club should “know in a few days” if a deal can be done.

Former Bolton striker Dean Holdsworth is reported to be readying a bid for the club via the Sports Shield Investment firm, as is a consortium put together by Stelios Giannakopoulos, also a former Wanderers player. Two other Middle-East-based backers are also reported to be interested in taking over the club.

“I am pretty confident that something will get done and obviously you are hoping that the people who do come in have got the future of the football club at heart,” said Lennon. “I’m sure they do. I’m sure it will not be a short-term fix or anything like that.”

Davis is ready to write off the debt if he can find a buyer, and according to The Bolton News, the club has distanced itself from the suggestion that all potential purchasers will have to provide a £10m ($15.1m, €13.9m) down payment to fund player wages and running costs as due diligence is completed.

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