Bolton Wanderers FC chiefs hope to end season in black


Bolton Wanderers' bosses hope that a sale to a consortium headed by former striker Dean Holdsworth will allow the struggling Sky Bet Championship club to finish the season with money in the bank, a judge has heard.

Football League officials - who must approve any sale - were meeting to analyse the deal, a lawyer representing Bolton told Deputy Registrar Chris Garwood at a High Court hearing in London on Friday.

Barrister Hilary Stonefrost said the league had to ensure that any new owner was fit and proper and that any deal would enable Bolton to complete this season's fixtures.

Ms Stonefrost was updating Mr Garwood on financial arrangements relating to the planned sale.

Mr Garwood, a specialist financial judge, made orders which will allow the club to continue trading while a sale is being discussed.

"Football League approval is required. I think they are meeting today," Ms Stonefrost told Mr Garwood.

"The hope and expectation is that they reach the end of the season in June with cash left in the bank."

Ms Stonefrost said Bolton owner Eddie Davies had put £185 million of his own money into the club.

She said if the planned sale went through he would waive all but £15 million of that.

Tax authority officials have asked for Bolton - one of 12 founding members of the Football League in 1888 - to be wound up after complaining that the club had not paid a £2.2 million bill.

On Monday a different judge refused to grant a winding-up application by HM Revenue and Customs after Ms Stonefrost told a High Court hearing that efforts were being made to sell shares and raise money.

Registrar Clive Jones adjourned that hearing and said more evidence would be examined in the near future.

A club spokesman said after the Monday hearing that efforts were being made to the Sports Shield Consortium.

The case is due to return to court on March 7.

Bolton are second from bottom of the Championship.

Eleven years ago they finished sixth in the Premier League - and they reached the semi-final of the FA Cup in 2011.

They have won the FA Cup on four occasions - the last time in 1958 - and once had Nat Lofthouse, one of the most famous names in the history of the English game, in their ranks.