by John Lyons
LONG-SUFFERING Bolton Wand-erers fans can look forward to a brighter future – Dean Holdsworth’s Sports Shield consortium are on the brink of wrapping up their takeover.
Time has been of the essence because the Trotters – £172.9m in debt – are due in the High Court tomorrow over a £3m tax debt and face the threat of going into administration.
But a Bolton source has told The FLP that the takeover by Sports Shield is now ‘very, very close’.
The FLP also understands that the last remaining hurdles relate to legal matters and not the financial side of the deal.
Former Bolton striker Holdsworth’s consortium were handed preferred bidder status on Thursday and will be eager to finalise the takeover before the High Court date, though an adjournment could buy them more time.
The Trotters, owned by Eddie Davies, have suffered a major decline since their glory days in the top flight under Sam Allardyce a decade ago and have looked doomed to relegation to the third tier for most of this season.
Results have improved of late, though yesterday’s 1-1 home draw against QPR – when Matt Phillips equalised for the visitors in stoppage time – was a bitter pill to swallow for Neil Lennon’s men. They lie second bottom, six points from safety.
Bolton are also mourning the recent death of chairman Phil Gartside at the age of 63 following a battle with cancer.
*This article was on this week’s FLP front page.