Bolton Wanderers are in an even more alarming financial position, after reports of potential owner Laurence Bassini missing a deadline on Monday to provide proof of his financial capital.
Bolton’s current owner Ken Anderson made the deadline before the weekend, a weekend which saw Bolton’s match against Brentford postponed as the players are refusing to play due to not having been paid their wages last month. But now, per The Times, it looks as though Bassini won’t become the club’s new owner after all, putting the club in a precarious state.
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It’s a sad state of affairs for Bolton, a once-proud club that was a mid-table side in the Premier League less than a decade ago. The club featured Stuart Holden and later Tim Ream, cementing its American connections, but has now come on very hard times. Relegation has already been confirmed, with the club in 23rd place in the Championship, but it could go into administration or cease to be a club if the team continues to fail to pay its players and staff.
Over the weekend, it was reported that the Championship is compelling Bolton to complete its final two matches against Brentford and Nottingham Forest, even if the first team players refuse to play. That could mean potentially using youth players in what would be a mockery of the game, pitting boys against men because of the league’s bylaws and club’s inability to pay wages that were promised contractually.
The other shoe finally dropped in the English Football League’s case against Queens Park Rangers regarding Financial Fair Play.
QPR on Friday agreed to pay a $55 million fine to the EFL, with payments spread out over the next ten years, for breaching Financial Fair Play rules in 2014 as the club made its push to return to the Premier League. QPR also agreed to pay all the court costs – as part of the $55 million settlement – and are banned from signing new players in the January 2019 transfer window.
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Ahead of the 2013-2014 season, QPR spent lavishly, signing the likes of Charlie Austin, Matt Phillips and Karl Henry, in addition to a first-team squad that already included Loic Remy, Ji-Sung Park and Adel Taraabt (all three would go out on loan). Ultimately, QPR’s nearly $100 million wage bill represented 195 percent of of the club’s revenue. Over a three-year period, Financial Fair Play regulations in the Championship state a team cannot lose more than $17 million per season.
Of course, while Financial Fair Play rules were put into place to keep clubs from overspending and harming their future, if QPR’s board and group of owners could afford to write off the costs and cover it from their other business assets, then as long as the club is in good shape, perhaps there shouldn’t have been a penalty.
In any case, it was probably worth it for QPR. Austin’s 18 goals helped drive QPR back into the Premier League, and despite lasting one season, the television and parachute payments are still keeping the club afloat.
After one season down in League One, the Millers are returning to the Sky Bet Championship in 2018/19.
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Rotherham United defeated Shrewsbury Town, 2-1, in extra time on Sunday at Wembley Stadium to reach the Championship.
Regulation wasn’t enough to decide the League One playoff final, but Richard Wood brace ensured his side, Rotherham, would reach the English second division ahead of the 2018/19 season.
Wood did superbly to volley home his squad’s second goal in the first half of extra time, after a brilliant Joe Newell set piece curled into the path of the defender.
Shrewsbury equalized around the hour mark when Alex Rodman calmly placed the ball beyond goalkeeper Marek Rodak from close ranger after a perfectly-executed set piece that caught the Millers off guard.
The first half went largely in favor Rotherham though, having taken the lead in the 32nd minute through Wood’s header to the bottom left corner.
The lead should have been larger though heading into halftime, but David Ball’s early penalty kick was saved by Shrews keeper Dean Henderson in the ninth minute to keep the match scoreless at the time.