Bolton Wanderers Story – Will “The Trotters” see light at the end of the tunnel

Bolton Wanderers, a club that has been part of the English Football League since it’s inception in 1888–89 is currently in administration because of their £1.2m unpaid taxes to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Many people might still remember their UEFA Cup team from the 2007-08 season which defeated Atlético Madrid to reach the Round of 16.

Things don’t remain the same in football is a gross understatement about the because since then the club has been handed 4 winding-up petitions (2015, 2016, February 2018, March 2018) and are currently in Administration.

Eddie Davies Troubles

The current financial troubles at Bolton started when their former owner Eddie Davies who has invested nearly £200 million into the club since becoming an owner in 2003 has decided that he no longer wants to fund the Lancashire based club.

The club almost went into administration in 2015 because Eddie Davies was no longer interested in taking care of a championship club who were paying players like premier league stars in hopes of getting promoted.

As you can see from the financial statements released on 30 June 2017 Club lost £50.7 million in 2012-13, £9.1 million in the 2013-14 season. that meant Bolton Wanderers, who were in the Premier League for 11 years until relegation in 2012 were unable to pay £2.2 million HM Revenue & Customs tax.

This lead to their winding up petition. The clubs assets like car park close to the Macron Stadium and their training ground at Euxton were sold to keep the club out of administration.

Dean Holdsworth and Ken Anderson Takeover

Then a consortium lead by Dean Holdsworth( Sports Shield BWFC company ),  Ken Anderson( Inner Circle Investments ) had stepped up to with £7.5m offer with an option to pay another £17.5m in long term after reaching certain targets like promotion to Premier League.

Eddie Davies, however, had to write off £175m that he was owed by the club and remained at the club as an adviser. But the financial situation for the 2015-16 situation was very bad there were also situations where players were not paid. This lead to poor performances and relegation to League One.

In 2016-17 on-field performance was good which meant that the club is promoted back to the championship.

Dean Holdsworth leaves

Dean Holdsworth’s Sports Shield was issued a winding-up petition BluMarble Ltd over a £5m loan which Holdsworth took to complete takeover of Bolton from Davies.

Later in 2017, Ken Anderson bought Dean Holdsworth’s shares in Bolton to become the majority owner of Bolton Wanderers.

2018-19 Nightmare

During 2018-19 season financial troubles of the club reached the next level with club’s former owner, Eddie Davies giving the club a loan of £5m in September, PFA helping owners with player wages for Christmas season.

The problems continued as Club was served a winding-up petition in February by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, In February Ken Anderson declared that he won’t be able to pay for player wages unless he can find a new owner.

In March Training Grounds was closed as Bolton were unable to offer it’s staff food, drink or other supplies temporarily.

The club’s staff went unpaid for the whole of March which leads to ground staff giving an ultimatum that they will boycott league matches which meant matches would be canceled but the issue was resolved.

In April, Players boycotted match against Brentford over unpaid wages. In May Club went into administration with David Rubin and Partners appointed as insolvency firm.

Rumors of New Owners

There are a lot of rumors circulating that many investors are showing interest in Bolton Wanders. Laurence Bassini, former Watford owner was rumored to take over the club but the deals seem to have fallen through.

In the meanwhile to help Bolton Staff who went unpaid for a large part of the year, supporters and Community have taken up initiatives like Burnden to UniBol walk.

What’s Next

It seems to be unlikely that Bolton will be liquidated or have to sell more of their assets but they will start next season in League One with a 12 point deduction due to going into administration.

All we as fans can do now is hope someone better becomes their owner this time, Players and Staff will resume getting their wages.

We can only hope that the new owners will put an end to this vicious cycle of being on the brink of becoming defunct.