Bolton Wanderers: Championship strugglers set for winding-up petition

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Bolton manager Neil Lennon
Bolton are three points adrift at the bottom of the Championship and four points from safety

Financially troubled Bolton expect to receive further bad news in the next few days in the form of a winding-up petition from Revenue & Customs.

Bolton owe about £600,000 in unpaid taxes and have £172.9m of debt.

The Championship's bottom club did not pay senior players in November and need £15m to get to the end of the season.

Takeover talks have been held with four parties but unless a deal is done, they face the threat of administration and a 12-point deduction.

A consortium involving former striker Dean Holdsworth is thought to be the preferred bidder, though the structure of that deal is complex and is thought to involve an element of borrowing.

Should that group not take over, and no alternative buyer is found, Bolton's financial adviser Trevor Birch would have to look at alternative options, which could see the club end up in administration.

Owner Eddie Davies brought in Birch to lead takeover discussions, with chairman Phil Gartside understood to be gravely ill. Gartside's family have requested privacy.

Davies has agreed to write off the £172.9m he has loaned the club in order to push through a deal but is refusing to put in any further funds.

Administration would leave Bolton, who reached the last 16 of the Uefa Cup in 2008 and were only relegated from the Premier League in 2012, 16 points adrift of safety.

Speaking last week, Birch described Bolton's situation as "increasingly perilous", adding "new investment is needed quickly".

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