Bolton Wanderers: EFL gives club 14-day expulsion threat

Mascots at Bolton and Bury
Mascots at Bolton and Bury showed solidarity before Bury's expulsion was confirmed

Bolton have 14 days to find a buyer or prove they have the funds to complete the season, or they will be expelled from the English Football League.

The EFL suspended the withdrawal notice while Bolton, in administration since May, negotiated a proposed takeover by Football Ventures (Whites) Limited.

It appeared the sale collapsed on Saturday, with administrators saying the club was close to liquidation.

Bury were expelled from the EFL on Tuesday after a takeover collapsed.

Bolton's administrators, however, retain hope a deal can be found to save their club, with a statement from David Rubin & Partners saying: "All parties have been in continuous dialogue throughout the day (Tuesday) 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."

Wanderers have lost four of their five League One and cup games this season, are without a manager and have only five senior outfield players available.

One fixture, against Doncaster, was postponed because of concerns over the welfare of youth-team players.

The EFL said administrators have until 11:59 BST on 12 September to meet the requirements.

EFL executive chair Debbie Jevans said: "Despite repeated assurances, we are extremely disappointed that we are still not in a position to reach a successful resolution with the sale of Bolton Wanderers and have therefore taken the decision to lift the suspension on the notice of withdrawal.

"I again urge all parties to finalise the proposed takeover.

"The reality of this action is that there are now 14 days to secure the club's long-term future, and I sincerely hope we can find a way through these challenging circumstances for the benefit of all those who have an association with the club."

Timeline of Bolton's demise

  • Bolton were relegated from the Premier League in 2012
  • Four years later their football existence was threatened before former striker Dean Holdsworth was part of a takeover at the club
  • Anderson took control after Holdsworth's company Sports Shield were wound up
  • Wanderers entered administration in May after being relegated from the Championship, before Football Ventures agreed a deal to take over the club
  • The deal was almost stopped after Laurence Bassini, who had bid to buy the club before administration, was awarded a court order blocking the sale on 8 August
  • The court order was adjourned paving the way for the takeover to continue before it eventually collapsed
  • The club called off their match against Doncaster last week citing welfare concerns having only five senior outfield players available
  • Boss Phil Parkinson resigned on Thursday after three years with the club and a young side lost 5-0 against Ipswich last Saturday

How could it impact the league structure?

The EFL has already reduced the number of teams in the league to 23 following Bury's expulsion and reduced the number of relegation places to three from four.

There have been knock-on effects to the number of teams relegated from League Two as well, with one club rather than two facing the drop.

If Bolton are also be expelled, it would leave further changes to be made across the league.

'I never believed the situation would become this bad' - former player's view

Former Bolton captain Gudni Bergsson on BBC Radio 5 Live

"It would be a terrible blow - it's not a club, it's an institution and I think all the people of Bolton are really proud of the history of the club.

"It's been incredibly frustrating in recent years to see the demise and troubles the club has faced.

"I never believed the situation would become this bad, but hopefully things can be solved and new owners can rebuild the club."

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