UPDATE: A deal has reportedly been struck, in the final hours, for the loan to be repaid and the club to continue in compliant financial standing. Official announcements still pending.
It’s been six and a half years since Bolton Wanderers were last in the Premier League — relegated to the Championship on May 13, 2012 after 11 seasons in the top flight.
Since falling out of the PL on the final day of the 2012-13 season, Bolton have spent five of the last six seasons floundering in the Championship (bottom-half finishes in four out of five), with a brief stint in League One two seasons ago after finishing 24th out of 24 teams in 2015-16.
After returning to the second division last summer, Bolton managed to stave off relegation by one place and two points in May. They have started the new season brightly, picking up 11 points from the first six games — good enough for eighth place a month into the campaign.
That’s about as far as the good news goes, though, as the northwestern club appears headed for administration, complete with a 12-point deduction and a two-year transfer embargo. They will drop to the bottom of the table with 1 points total of -1.
In financial trouble for quite some time, Bolton have flirted with administration in the past. Current owner Ken Anderson revealed on Tuesday that an official announcement could come inside 24 hours after a dispute over loan repayment went unresolved. According to Anderson, the finance company which lent him $5 million to keep the club afloat has rejected a repayment offer of the initial $5 million plus what Anderson called “substantial interest” — quotes from the Guardian:
“I am very disappointed that Stuart Wilson and Michael Henson of BluMarble Capital Ltd have decided to reject my offer to repay the loan they originally made to the club through Sportshield Ltd and place the club in administration.
“The amount received by the club was [$5 million] and I offered to repay this plus substantial interest. Unfortunately, this offer was rejected.”
“[BluMarble] will now need to fund the club administration going forward, which will take a minimum of three months and will automatically put the club in a two-year transfer embargo and a minimum immediate points deduction of 12 points.”
“In my opinion, their actions will substantially reduce the value of the club in respect of any future sale and will make it far more difficult to find a future investor/buyer.”