Bolton Wanderers chairman to meet potential Far East investors

Bolton v Southend
Bolton are two points clear at the top of League One after a 1-1 draw with Southend on Saturday

Bolton Wanderers chairman Ken Anderson says he is to meet with businesspeople from the Far East who are interested in investing in the club.

The Trotters are currently top of League One, having been relegated from the Championship last season.

"We've had two or three serious people, all from overseas - China and Malaysia in general - that have talked to us," Anderson told BBC Radio Manchester.

"We've said that we are happy to meet them when they're next in the UK."

Anderson's Inner Circle group and former striker Dean Holdsworth's Sports Shield consortium completed a £7.5m takeover in March, after the club had amassed debts of over £170m.

"Our aspirations are hopefully to get up this season, and then if we can get up we know that to compete with the Derbys, the Aston Villas, the Newcastles, and even when you look at what Forest and Bristol City are selling players for, we're going to need more money if we really ever think we're going to get back into the Premier League," added Anderson.

Football league clubs with investment for the Far East
Cardiff City - Owned by Malaysian businessman Vincent Tan since May 2010Birmingham City - Hong Kong-based business man Carson Yeung owns 26.31% and Chinese businessman Liu Xingcheng has a 11.66% stake
Aston Villa - Taken over in June 2016 by Chinese businessman Dr Tony XiaQPR - Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes owns two thirds of the club
Wolverhampton Wanderers - Bought by Chinese conglomerate Fosun International in July 2016Reading - Taken over by a Thai consortium in September 2014

A host of English clubs have been taken over or heavily invested in by business people from Asia in recent years, but Anderson says if he does allow foreign investors to come in, he will not give up his stake in Bolton.

"I have no intention to sell my shares, the club's not for sale," he added.

"If people want to come in we'll issue new shares, I'm not looking for them to invest money that goes into my pocket, it's to go into the club."

Bolton are still under a transfer embargo that was placed upon the club in December last year for failing to comply with Financial Fair Play obligations.

It means the club are unable to pay any fees for players and the Football League keep a close eye on Bolton's dealings.

"We've now got over one of the hurdles on the embargo, which is that we are no longer in breach of the salary cap," said Anderson.

"We've brought 12 players in over the window and to have managed to do that and still be complying with the salary cap embargo, we've done very well.

"I would have liked to have had it gone by now, but there's been factors that we didn't know about when we came in that we're still working with.

"But over the last two months we've got a working relationship with the EFL and we've managed to bring the players in despite having an embargo."

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