Bolton Wanderers sit at the bottom of the Championship table, but the club seems to have much bigger issues at the moment.
The team, managed by Neil Lennon, is reportedly unable to pay its players for the month of November, and now the government is taking action on an unpaid tax bill that could result in the club falling into administration.
They must now raise sufficient funds as soon as possible, or be forced to seek bankruptcy protection, which would result in the club being put into administration, mandating a 12-point deduction and all but guaranteeing relegation to League One. The club only has 12 points thus far into the league season.
HM Revenue and Customs denied the club’s request for more time to complete a sale, and they will be taken to court in a hearing on January 18.
“Bolton Wanderers can confirm that the club has now received a winding-up petition from HMRC in respect of unpaid PAYE and VAT for the month of November,” the club said in a statement on their official website. “Despite requests from the club to HMRC to give it further time to either conclude a sale or raise additional funds, HMRC has proceeded with due process and duly served a petition.”
The club hired Trevor Birch, a financial advisor, to help them out of the situation. “Quite clearly the club remains in a critical financial position,” Birch said. “We will continue to try and finalize a sale or alternatively raise some short-term funds needed to give the club a breathing space and time in which to consider its options.”
Long-time owner Eddie Davies said he is willing to forego $280 million of loans, but he will no longer provide financial support to the club. Bolton played in the Premier League for ten consecutive seasons before relegation in 2012.