Football News

Bolton charged by EFL amid takeover confusion & failure to complete fixture list

By Chris Smith

Published: 16:29, 3 May 2019

Bolton’s fixture against Brentford has been cancelled, with the Bees being handed the three points and a 1-0 win.

The match was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, 27 April but had to be called off just 16 hours before kick-off with Bolton’s players refusing to play over unpaid wages.

Bolton’s financial turmoil: Five key things to know…

  1. Bolton have already been relegated to League One with just 32 points this term.
  2. Ex-Watford owner Laurence Bassini’s bid to buy the club fell through.
  3. As a result, the club is expected to enter administration, resulting in a points deduction next season.
  4. Bolton’s players have been on strike after not being paid wages for March and April.
  5. Their postponed fixture vs Brentford has now been cancelled with the London club awarded three points.

Bolton were subsequently unable to confirm that adequate safety personnel will be in place by next week and were given a prohibition notice.

The English Football League (EFL) said Bolton were now guilty of misconduct and will face disciplinary action.

“Following the decision taken by Bolton Wanderers’ Safety Advisory Group (SAG) to issue a prohibition notice preventing Tuesday’s rearranged fixture with Brentford from taking place, the EFL will not be asking that the game is played at a future date,” an EFL statement said.

“There is no provision under EFL regulations to direct clubs to play at a later date than four days past the conclusion of the season and, as a result, it has been determined that Brentford will be awarded the three points on the basis of a 1-0 victory.

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“As a consequence, Bolton Wanderers is now deemed to be guilty of misconduct by the EFL which will result in disciplinary proceedings against the club being taken at an appropriate time.”

With just 32 points from 45 games this season, Bolton have already been relegated to League One next season, although their future is far from certain thanks to the financial peril they currently find themselves in.

What next for Bolton Wanderers?

Bolton’s final game of the season, away to Nottingham Forest on Sunday, is expected to go ahead as planned. However, beyond that, there is little certainty regarding what will happen to the Lancashire club next season.

Controversial former Watford owner, Laurence Bassini, had been a recent frontrunner to take over Bolton but having failed to provide proof of funds to the EFL on time, the club ‘considered his approach for the club at an end’.

However, to complicate matters further, Bassini has insisted that he has bought the club, telling reporters: “I have taken control of the club this morning and instructed staff not to make any further statements. I have proof of funds and a watertight contract.

“I will be attending the Nottingham Forest game on Sunday and I will put things right at Bolton Wanderers. Ken Anderson (chairman) cannot sell the club to anyone else, he is on notice and would be in breach of contract should he try to, I am the only person who can buy Bolton Wanderers.”

Despite Bassini’s comments, Wanderers’ current owner, Ken Anderson, has said the club will ‘explore other options’ while reports claim the EFL has agreed to loan them the money to pay players so that Sunday’s game can go ahead.

All of this comes just seven years after the club was playing Premier League football before being relegated to the Championship in 2012.