Football club’s new owner wary of ‘false promises’

BOLTON Wanderers’ prospective new chairman has spoken of his pride and relief that the Championship club has avoided administration, but remained tight-lipped on his group’s future investment plans.

On Monday Dean Holdsworth’s Sports Shield Group agreed a deal with current owner Eddie Davies to buy the beleaguered club. At the same time the High Court gave Bolton 14 days to pay a near £3m tax bill, while the takeover is approved by the Football League.

Holdsworth told BBC Radio 5Live: “We have signed a contract with Eddie Davies and are now waiting for ratification, and we will do our best to get that done as quickly as possible.”

He said it was an “honour” to have come through a six month process, but most important issue is to “celebrate that the club has not gone into administration.”

The 47-year-old former striker, who is sole director of Sports Shield Group, which is registered to an address in Essex, was asked about how much money was being invested by his consortium, to which he replied: “I am not going to answer that – we are a private company and I’m under a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) with my business partners.

“We will put enough money in – it’s more than £7.5m – that’s to get us through this season – and we have shown we have more funds for the following season.”

He said he would not elaborate further on the group’s plans, as he is wary of making “false promises” to fans.

Holdsworth said current owner Eddie Davies would be a president of the club, but would not be an investor, when the deal completes. “He deserves this legacy with what he has done,” Holdsworth added.

Isle of Man-based Davies has previously said he would waive around £180m owed to him by the club, but has withdrawn any further funding.