August 27 – Unthinkable, impossible, devastating. Just three of the reactions to Bolton Wanderers, one of English football’s most iconic teams who were in the Premier League as recently as nine years ago, possibly disappearing into oblivion after a proposed takeover of the troubled League One (third-tier) club collapsed.
Much has been made of the demise of Bury but Bolton’s fate is just as alarming, if not more so, given the history of the club and its fan base. But Bolton will go out of business on Wednesday unless a deal that fell apart at the weekend can be resurrected.
Bolton have been in administration for three months and have been told that if there is no breakthrough by 5pm today to find a buyer or “give compelling reasons for an extension, the process of closing down the company will commence on Wednesday.”
Bolton, one of the founding members of the English Football League in 1888, won the FA Cup three times, in the 1920s and in 1958, but have struggled since being relegated from the Premier League in 2012.
They started the season with a 12-point deduction and manager Phil Parkinson resigned last week because of the current crisis. Saturday’s 5-0 loss to Ipswich Town was the third match in a row that they had conceded five goals.
“In just over 24 hours, the club will have its membership of the EFL revoked,” joint administrator Paul Appleton said in a statement on Bolton’s website.
“Over and above that, the club is currently not in a position to carry on trading and, as such, the process of closing down the company will commence on Wednesday.
“This will ultimately lead to its liquidation, the expulsion of the club from the EFL and the inevitable loss of over 150 jobs. More than that, it will devastate a community for whom the football club is a beacon of hope and expectation.”
With wages due at the end of the month, Appleton’s deadline is very real. The proposed takeover by Football Ventures consortium appears to have failed after Ken Anderson, who took the club into administration, demanded the deal included indemnity from any possible future civil action.
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com