Bolton Wanderers: High Court hearing over £1.2m unpaid tax bill adjourned

Bolton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers have won just four Championship matches since August

Bolton Wanderers have been given two weeks to settle their debts or risk going into administration.

The club, who are up for sale, appeared in the High Court on Wednesday over an unpaid £1.2m tax bill.

However, it is understood owner Ken Anderson has agreed terms with a buyer who will pay off their debts and the hearing was adjourned until 3 April.

The supposed new buyer is said to already own a major stake in a "high-level football club".

A club statement said: "We are pleased to get the adjournment today, which will allow the club to make progress with the interested party."

On Tuesday, Bolton confirmed takeover talks with another interested buyer, believed to be the Football Ventures consortium, had ended.

The Championship club now have 14 days to complete a takeover and clear their debts to avoid a winding-up order, which would leave them facing administration and a 12-point deduction next season.

Wednesday's brief High Court hearing in London was the sixth time in 16 months that Wanderers have defended a winding-up petition because of unpaid tax.

In 2016, Wanderers successfully avoided being wound up and paid off a £2.2m tax bill when Dean Holdsworth's Sports Shield consortium and Anderson's Inner Circle completed a last-minute takeover.

But Anderson, who now owns almost 95% of Bolton's shares, is struggling to finance the club and has said he is doing his "utmost" to sell.

Players and staff received February's wages late and their league game against Millwall on 9 March was only cleared to go ahead three days before because of concerns over sufficient stewarding.

Bolton are also facing relegation to League One. They are 23rd in the Championship and eight points from safety with eight fixtures remaining this season.

The last English Football League club to go into administration were Aldershot Town in May 2013, when they were relegated from League Two.

Meanwhile, Forest Green Rovers have also confirmed they have started legal proceedings against Bolton over the collapsed transfer of striker Christian Doidge.

The past five EFL clubs to go into administration all received a 10-point deduction