Bolton Wanderers

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Bolton Wanderers saved as takeover completed

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Bolton Wanderers have been saved.

Football Ventures (Whites) Limited have bought the 145-year-old club which was hours from being liquidated and expelled from the English Football League.

Fellow third-tier club Bury were not as lucky as Bolton, as the 134-year old team were expelled from the Football League on Tuesday after failing to meet several requirements.

Bolton’s new owners paid tribute to Bury’s fans in their statement announcing that the takeover had been completed.

One of the founding members of the English Football League, Bolton had been granted a 14-day extension on Tuesday for a deal to be completed to buy the club.

It took just one more day to seal the deal as the new owners released the following statement amid jubilation from Bolton’s fans and soccer fans across the world.

“The true spirit of this football club rests with the fans, it is nothing without them. The support shown to the players during this season’s opening fixtures has been overwhelming… Now the deal is complete, please be assured we intend to do all within our power to bring back a true sense of pride to Bolton Wanderers Football Club, which is the least the staff, fans, future generations of supporters and the community deserve.”

Joint Administrator, Paul Appleton, released the following statement on Wednesday.

“This has been one of the most complicated administrations I’ve been involved with but I’m delighted to say we have finally reached a satisfactory conclusion with the sale to Football Ventures,” Appleton said. “At times, some of the hurdles appeared insurmountable and the frustration felt has been immense, not least by the supporters who have had to endure too many weeks of uncertainty.

“I would like to pay particular tribute to the Eddie Davies Trust and their legal team who, throughout this whole process, have been willing to do everything in their power to ensure Eddie’s incredible legacy was maintained and not sullied.”

Appleton went on to lambast former owner Ken Anderson, who had allowed the four-time FA Cup winners (Bolton were last in the Premier League in 2012, as they were relegated after a 10-year stay) to be on the brink of collapse.

“The Trust were forced to constantly compromise their position in the face of circumstances and demands which were wholly unreasonable,” Appleton continued. “This says much about their determination not to allow Eddie’s beloved Bolton Wanderers to suffer any longer at the hands of Ken Anderson. Sadly, Mr Anderson has used his position as a secured creditor to hamper and frustrate any deal that did not benefit him or suit his purposes. Thankfully, with the assistance of the Trust and others, we were able to overcome this obstacle.”

Bolton sit bottom of the third-tier on -11 points after being reprimanded by the Football League due to their dire financial situation. They have no manager and have been forced to field their youth team for their games so far this season, with their most recent fixtures cancelled due to concerns over the health of the youngsters.

However, Bolton can now plan ahead and look forward to a future as the new owners revealed they hope to hire a new manager and sign new players in the coming days.

Bury expelled from Football League; Bolton has 14 days

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This is a monumentally sad day for football.

Bury FC is no longer a member of the Football League, expelled from the league.

One of Bury’s historic rivals, Bolton Wanderers, have only 14 days to avoid that fate.

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For the first time since 1888-89, a season of English football will not include two-time FA Cup winners Bury, the only silver lining that the club was expelled on the heels of a thrilling promotion season.

A late takeover bid collapsed and Bury is now the first club to be expelled from the Football League since 1992. They are the only club to score at least 1,000 goals in each of the top four tiers of England.

As for Bolton, the Wanderers have 14 days to complete a takeover or it, too, will suffer the same fate. Here is the club’s statement, and the hopeful tone overlooks a dire likely pathway.

We note the statement from the EFL lifting the notice of withdrawal of suspension and giving 14 days to find a solution and complete a deal for the sale of the club.

All parties have been in continuous dialogue throughout the day and are working closely together this evening in order to bring a deal to completion. We will continue to  work through the night if necessary.

There will be a further update as soon as possible.

Bury on the brink; Bolton have hope

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The future of both Bolton Wanderers and Bury remains in serious doubt ahead of a English Football League deadline set for 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Unless something drastic happens both will be liquidated, have their licenses revoked by the EFL and be expelled from the Football League.

A late bid from from C&N Sporting Risk to buy 134-year-old Bury collapsed, and that news spread around their Gigg Lane stadium as it was being cleaned by volunteers ahead of a possible weekend fixture against Doncaster Rovers.

C&N released a statement detailing how hard they had tried to save Bury, who have won the FA Cup twice in their history and had been promoted to their third-tier over the summer.

“We are grateful to the EFL for the short extension they granted to us so that we could continue with due diligence, and for their acceptance of our proof of funds capable of mounting a credible takeover… The complexities involved in each of these matters escalated and continue to do so. It is therefore with regret that we have decided not to proceed with the takeover of Bury FC. This decision has not been taken lightly. We fully understand the importance of the club to the community and it is with this in mind that we have informed the EFL of our decision at the earliest possible opportunity.”

The EFL released the following statement after hearing that C&N had pulled out of the deal to save Bury.

“The League announced at the weekend that it was working exclusively with the club and C&N in an attempt to finalise a change of control at the club. However, following a period of due diligence, C&N have opted not to progress matters. The League continues to be in discussions with Bury FC in advance of today’s 5pm deadline and will provide a further update as appropriate.”

As for Bolton, their situation remains dire as a potential takeover appeared to collapse on Monday.

However, Bolton’s administrator Paul Appleton released a more positive update on Tuesday ahead of the deadline.

“Following my statement of yesterday morning, I am glad to report there is continuing dialogue between the parties whose positions will ultimately decide the fate of the club,” Appleton said. “Myself and my team will continue to do everything possible to facilitate a deal and we will work tirelessly to get this finalised for the club, fans, staff and wider community. The future of Bolton Wanderers is still in doubt but I have to believe there can be a positive outcome before today’s 5pm deadline set by the EFL.”

The Trotters had been fielding their youth team in League One games so far this season, but their most recent matches were called off due to fears over the players’ health.

Bury have yet to play a game this season, as they sit bottom of the third tier on -12 after reaching a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) which triggered an initial 12 point penalty. Bolton are second from bottom on -11 points.

Bolton on verge of league expulsion, liquidation

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A club that started the Football League in 1888 may be expelled from it.

Bolton Wanderers is the club of Nat Lofthouse and Roy Greaves, and more recently Jussi Jääskeläinen, Youri Djorkaeff, Gary Cahill, and Stu Holden, and it may have reached the end of line.

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Winners of four FA Cups but none since 1958 and combatants in a League Cup Final appearance as recently as 2004, Bolton Wanderers has been on a sad and steady decline for the better part of a decade.

And it may cease to be a club by Wednesday.

That’s a loaded statement, but Tuesday could see Bolton Wanderers kicked out of the Football League after failing to complete a sale of the financially troubled club. The league seems as exasperated as the desperate fan base, which saw a manager quit at midweek.

EFL executive chair Debbie Jevans said on Sunday: “What is really disappointing is that on Saturday morning, our understanding was that all the parties involved had signed off and the deal was going to be completed yesterday morning.

“Then something happened, a signature wasn’t provided and therefore it was postponed again. This is incredibly frustrating. It has been going on for months.”

There are, of course, options that can save the team in this testy 48 hours. But to reach this point shows that even if a solution is found, it may be the last opportunity for Bolton to keep itself alive. There are only so many lines in the sand.

Bolton plays Gillingham on Saturday, and is three weeks away from meeting another troubled, historic club in Bury FC.

Bolton match abandoned, club guilty of misconduct over unpaid wages

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Cash-strapped side Bolton Wanderers, whose match against Brentford originally scheduled for last Saturday was postponed 16 hours before kickoff when players refused to take the field over unpaid wages, has seen the match officially abandoned, and the EFL has opened disciplinary proceedings against the club.

The club has been in a dire situation all season, having avoided administration back in September at the buzzer thanks to a last-minute deal to repay a loan. An ownership change fell through just days ago, with current chairman Ken Anderson seeing a self-imposed deadline passed for prospective buyer Laurence Bassini to provide prove of his financial capital.

Now, with players publicly refusing to play after failing to receive their wages for March or April, play on the field has been affected. Saturday’s match was postponed with the first-team squad refusing to play, and while the match was originally rescheduled for next Tuesday – two days after the end of the season – but adequate security personnel could not be confirmed with staff also going unpaid, so the EFL has called off the fixture and opened proceedings against the club. The cancellation of the match results in an automatic 1-0 victory for Brentford.

“Following the decision taken by Bolton Wanderers’ Safety Advisory Group (SAG) to issue a prohibition notice preventing Tuesday’s rearranged fixture with Brentford from taking place, the EFL will not be asking that the game is played at a future date,” the English Football League said in a statement. “There is no provision under EFL regulations to direct clubs to play at a later date than four days past the conclusion of the season and, as a result, it has been determined that Brentford will be awarded the three points on the basis of a 1-0 victory.

“As a consequence, Bolton Wanderers is now deemed to be guilty of misconduct by the EFL which will result in disciplinary proceedings against the club being taken at an appropriate time.”

The club announced it will go ahead with the final match of the season on Saturday against Nottingham Forest, with the PFA handing the club a second loan to allow the players to finish the season. The PFA confirmed last week that the organization had quietly loaned the club money in December to pay player wages, but the situation has not improved.

Bolton is already confirmed to have been relegated from the Championship. They played in the Premier League as recently as 2011.