The Trotters went into administration in May 2019 ahead of the new campaign and are facing liquidation.
EFL League One outfit, Bolton Wanderers FC have been given a further 14 day extension to prove their financial capability to sustain themselves for the whole season or face expulsion from Association Football League. The extension comes after the EFL announced that it has withdrawn the suspension on the notice of withdrawal of Bolton’s league membership.
The administrators at Bolton were not able to strike a deal before the 5 pm deadline on 27 August, 2019, set by the EFL. In order to continue to ply their trade in League One, the club needs to be sold to new owners or present a roadmap which ensures that it can fund itself for the rest of the season.
Bolton started the campaign on -12 points after they went into administration and also lost most of their senior players along with the manager Phil Parkinson and assistant manager, Steve Markin. As a result, they have had to field their youngest squad ever, filled by inexperienced young players.
Despite the club administrator, Paul Appleton, revealing that the club had no money to fund itself for the season without a takeover from the Football Ventures consortium – there were signs that a deal to sell the club could be cemented before the 5 pm deadline set on Tuesday.
However, EFL released a statement on the whole matter at around 11 pm saying that, “Despite further exchanges with the administrators over the course of the Bank Holiday weekend, and right up until today’s deadline of 5pm, a resolution to ongoing impasse in negotiations regarding a completion of sale at Bolton Wanderers has not yet been found. The EFL board has therefore taken the decision to lift the suspension on the notice of withdrawal, which was issued as per the EFL’s insolvency policy when the club entered administration in May 2019.”
“As per the league’s articles of association, this will now give the club 14 days (11.59pm on September 12, 2019) to meet all outstanding requirements of the league’s insolvency policy or its membership in the EFL will be withdrawn.” the statement further read.
Reacting to the EFL board’s release, Bolton released their own official statement, which read, “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.” the statement concluded.
This comes as a lifeline to the club and it’s anxious fanbase who are hoping that their historical club can survive this ordeal and continue to exist. The fellow League One club in Bury FC were in similar muddy waters who were also required to convince the EFL of their financial sustainability and strike a deal to sell the club.
However, they were not as fortunate as Bolton, as the club with 125 years of existence was expelled from the English Football League after the deal to transfer the ownership fell through just a few hours before the designated 5pm deadline on Tuesday. The EFL board chairman, Debbie Jevans called it as “one of the darkest days in the League’s recent history”.