Bolton v Millwall to go ahead after safety concerns and owner hopes takeover is imminent

Bolton Wanderers' empty stadium
Bolton Wanderers are seven points adrift of safety 23rd in the Championship with 11 games to play

Bolton Wanderers' home game against Millwall on Saturday will go ahead after safety concerns were eased, Bolton Council has confirmed.

The club was given until 13:00 GMT to assure the council they had adequate safety provision for the match amid worries over sufficient stewarding.

Meanwhile, owner Ken Anderson says he is in talks with "several parties" over a takeover he hopes happens this week.

He has also stated unpaid bills and staff salaries are now set to be paid.

BBC Radio Manchester reports that matchday staff, including stewards, are likely to be paid their February wages on Thursday, while full-time staff have been told to expect payment by Monday.

Bills owed to the emergency services are also expected to be cleared.

Anderson said in January that he was "doing his utmost" to sell the Championship club and on 24 February he reported that an "agreement in principle" had been reached.

"I have decided to continue to financially support the club until someone else comes in and have today (Wednesday) told payroll to process the staff salaries and to pay any amounts due to the police and others to ensure that the Millwall fixture and future games go ahead," Anderson said in a statement on the club's website.

Why did the council intervene?

Greater Manchester Police had been owed money by the club for the policing of matches and on Monday, part-time staff issued a statement saying they had not been given any information by the club as to when their wages would be paid.

The club's training ground was closed on Monday as their financial problems continued to mount, having already been issued with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue & Customs last month.

Financial and staffing concerns led to a meeting of the Safety Advisory Group, consisting of the council, the club, local police and ambulance services, to discuss concerns over the Millwall match taking place.

"The council has a legal responsibility to protect public safety and we will continue to monitor the situation at the stadium to ensure that agreed standards are being met," a Bolton Council spokesperson said.

"The safety of the public has been paramount throughout this process.

"Bolton Wanderers is at the heart of our community and we hope fans will understand we have to take these issues seriously."