They think it’s all over – it is for now
Not only was the team relegated to League One, they smashed numerous records for poor performance on the way including losing 30 matches out of 46 and letting in 78 goals in the process while only scoring 29.
Things could have got even worse for one of the most famous names in English football as they faced potential liquidation in court last week so being placed into administration could be seen as a decent result for the beleaguered Wanderers.
The club was placed into administration at the request of Fildraw Ltd who are one of the creditors. They are a trust representing the family of the late Eddie Davies who was previously owner and chairman of the club before selling to current owner Ken Anderson.
In a statement they said: “The decision was finally made for the appointments (of administrators) which it is hoped will ensure the continued existence of the club, one of the founding members of the Football League.”
Bolton have become the first English football league club to enter administration in six years since Aldershot Town in 2013. The standard EFL penalty for administration is a 12 point deduction which will now take place next season meaning they will start on minus 12.
We’ve previously written about the potential ramifications of a football club being liquidated last time Wanderers were in the High Court and with other teams such as Macclesfield Town and Bury due to appear in the upcoming months it can only be a matter of time until a judge decides to blow the full time whistle on one of them.
Last week the club faced its seventh hearing under the winding-up petition in 18 months under owner Ken Anderson, this one over £1.2m in unpaid tax and VAT bills brought by an increasingly aggressive HMRC that had finally lost patience with the Trotters and several other football clubs. The club also owed money to kit manufacturers Macron, Bolton Council and several other creditors including Fildraw.
Things could actually get worse before they get better as they have an upcoming appointment in front of an independent disciplinary committee for failing to fulfill a fixture. The likely punishment will be further points deducted for next season.
The players went on strike after not being paid their wages for March and refused to play a match at home to Brentford. The game was subsequently awarded to the Bees as a 1-0 win and the club was only able to fulfill its fixture at Nottingham Forest on the final day when the Professional Footballers Association lent the club sufficient money to pay the players.
In addition to persistently being late in paying player and staff wages, the hotel at the University of Bolton stadium has been closed and is also facing a separate winding-up petition by the HMRC while the Safety Action Group has withdrawn the safety certificate for the stadium, which means that no fixtures can take place including summer charity matches until it is reissued.
The situation is worse for other members of staff who are still awaiting April’s wages. So much so that the club has had to rely on the generosity of local businesses to set up and stock a foodbank for staff to use.
A proposed takeover from former Watford FC owner Laurence Bassini was being pursued until quite late in the process with the twice-bankrupt businessman claiming he had sufficient funds to fund the purchase of the club and underwrite operating expenses as required by the EFL as a minimum condition of purchasing a member club.
Bassini and Anderson have both issued conflicting statements with each proclaiming ownership of the club although the EFL have yet to see evidence of his financial obligations including proof of funds and a business plan. Bassini signed a Sale and Purchase agreement with Anderson in April that was contingent on league approval but also prevented Anderson from selling the club to a third party or placing the business into administration.
The administration would appear to settle the matter.