Bolton Wanderers given two weeks to settle with HMRC or slide into administration

Bolton Wanderers
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Bolton Wanderers lives to fight another day after being granted a stay of execution in its latest brush with the tax man.

The High Court granted an adjournment at yesterday’s winding-up petition by HM Revenue & Customs over an unpaid £1.2m tax bill after reports that owner Ken Anderson has agreed terms with a buyer who will pay off their debts.

The Championship club now has until April 3 to conclude matters, or face going into administration, which would result in a 12 point deduction for the team which currently sits second from bottom in the table and eight points from safety in its battle to avoid relegation to League One.

Last month Bolton declared it was close to clinching a deal with a potential buyer.

It issued a statement on February 24, saying: “The chairman is pleased to announce that an agreement in principle has been reached that will result in Inner Circle Investments selling its total shareholding in Burnden Leisure.”

However, on Tuesday this week the club confirmed that talks had ended, but Mr Anderson, who holds a 95% stake in Bolton, is understood to be close to concluding a deal with a new buyer which is said to own a key stake in a “high-level football club”.

Following yesterday’s hearing a Bolton Wanderers statement said: “We are pleased to get the adjournment today, which will allow the club to make progress with the interested party.”

The hearing was the sixth time in 16 months that Wanderers has defended a winding-up petition because of unpaid tax.

Mr Anderson said he is doing his “utmost” to sell the club.

Players and staff are understood to have received their February wages late.