Bolton Wanderers given Tuesday deadline to conclude takeover deal

Bolton Wanderers

Bolton Wanderers has been threatened with expulsion by the English Football League (EFL) if it cannot conclude its long-running takeover by 5pm this Tuesday, August 27.

The Trotters join neighbours Bury on final notice by 5pm on Tuesday after the EFL warned yesterday (August 24), that it would also expel the Shakers if they have not concluded their sale by then.

Bolton owner Ken Anderson announced on February 24 that he was preparing to sell his 94.5% stake in the club and that a period of due diligence had begun.

On April 17, he said he had sold the club to former Watford owner Laurence Bassini, but the deal fell through and on May 5, administrators were appointed who put the club up for sale.

The administrators announced on July 1, that they had chosen Football Ventures (Whites) Ltd, from five contenders, as preferred bidder.

But the takeover has rumbled on since then, with no conclusion.

On August 8, the deal looked doomed when Mr Bassini launched a legal challenge, leading to joint administrator Paul Appleton declaring that it had placed “the very existence of the club in jeopardy”.

He said a deal had been about to be finalised with Football Ventures when the court order was served.

But a week later the order was amended and administrators said the way was clear to strike a deal.

However, the EFL announced yesterday evening (August 24) that it remains concerned at the ongoing delays.

It said: “Having been previously advised in writing on the morning of the start of the season that the deal was all but agreed and only awaiting completion signatures, there has been constant contradictory information and no finalisation of the deal.

“The current situation cannot continue and the time to resolve the current impasse is now fast running out.

“Whilst it is understood as recently as yesterday that the parties were once again in a position to complete the formalities, there appears to be additional frustrating delays that are only serving to have a negative and detrimental impact.

“The EFL urges all parties to communicate and come together to find the necessary and final solutions so that Bolton Wanderers can start to plan for its long term future and end months of uncertainty for all those associated with the club, in particular the players, staff, supporters and the local Bolton community.”

And it warned: “If a successful conclusion to a sale is not found or there are no credible plans for the club to continue the season in administration by the planned board meeting at 5pm on Tuesday 27 August 2019, then the EFL board will consider lifting the suspension on the Notice of Withdrawal of the club’s membership of the League which was issued when the club entered into administration in May 2019.”