League One

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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.

Charlton wins promotion to Championship in stoppage time

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Charlton Athletic struck a wildly late blow to clinch the final place in the 2019-20 Football League Championship, defeating Sunderland 2-1 in Sunday’s promotion playoff at Wembley Stadium.

A stoppage time free kick in a cagey affair led to a scrum in the box, with Patrick Bauer sliding to strike a shot off a Sunderland defender and into the goal.

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The goal came at the 3:55 mark of four minutes stoppage time, and was the 26-year-old defender’s first goal of the season.

Ben Purrington had leveled the score line for Charlton after Sunderland went ahead via an early own goal. The Addicks were relegated from the Championship after the 2015-16 season, while Sunderland went down last year.

It had to feel extra special to manager Lee Bowyer, who played with Sunderland local rivals Newcastle United from 2003-06.

Sunderland reaches final as Portsmouth fan kicks player (video)

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Sunderland held off Portsmouth to advance to the League One promotion playoff final, and the testy 0-0 second leg really kicked off in the second half.

Black Cats midfielder Luke O’Nien tumbled into the seating area after a tussle with Pompey’s Tom Naylor in the 64th minute.

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But as O’Nien was kicked by a fan in the front row during his attempt to return to the pitch, setting off a scene with Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole.

The usually ornery and understandably more so Cattermole looked as if he was ready to tangle with the Portsmouth fan before things settled down.

With no goals scored in the second leg, Chris Maguire’s first leg marker at the Stadium of Light sends Sunderland to the precipice of a return to the Championship. The Black Cats will meet with Charlton Athletic or Doncaster Rovers in the final.

Barton ’emphatically denies’ attacking fellow League One manager

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It seems like there is much more to the incident reportedly involving Joey Barton and a fellow League One manager.

Barnsley launched a complaint after Fleetwood Town manager Barton allegedly attacked his counterpart Daniel Stendel after a match on Saturday.

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Police stopped Barton from leaving the stadium after the match, and Barnsley player Cauley Woodrow has now taken down a Tweet saying that Stendel was left with “blood pouring down his face.”

Now Barton is denying allegations that he attacked Stendel, and is expected to be in the dugout for the Fishermen, who sit 11th in League One.

From FleetwoodTownFC.com:

“With regards to the alleged incident on Saturday following our game against Barnsley, I emphatically deny the allegations made. Given this matter has not been formally closed, it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment.”

Barton’s checkered past is well-documented, but this tale continues to develop in fascinating ways.

U.S. U-18 forward scores 60-yard screamer on League One debut (video)

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The goal of the weekend in the English Football League is going to go to an 18-year-old United States prospect.

Making his League One debut for Southend United, Charlie Kelman made it one to remember in a 3-2 loss.

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Kelman took center stage with Southend trailing Plymouth Argyle 3-1 in stoppage time. Regaining possession in his own half, the England-born forward belted the ball 60-plus yards to catch Kyle Letheren off his line.

Oh my.