BOLTON have been saved from potential extinction after a £10million offer from group Football Ventures was accepted – with the help of Pink Floyd’s drummer.
Supremo Sharon Brittan and rock icon Nick Mason finally got their way after the family of late owner Eddie Davies – the major creditor – accepted a staggered payments deal.
The news is a huge relief for fans of the League One club, who last night saw Bury kicked out of the EFL after their takeover bid collapsed.
SunSport told you how Bury’s potential buyers are now begging the EFL to reverse their decision because they do have the £7m needed to buy the side.
Bolton were last night given a two-week extension to bring in a buyer.
The ruling Davies family started off by asking for £17m when the club went into administration but will settle for around £5m paid over the next three years.
And that was only possible after super fan Mike James put in more funds to increase the Football Ventures kitty, as revealed yesterday.
The swoop will also see FV take charge of the club’s hotel which has also been in administration.
Paul Appleton, Bolton’s administrator, savaged owner Ken Anderson in a statement released tonight.
He said: “This has been one of the most complicated administrations I’ve been involved with but I’m delighted to say we have finally reached a satisfactory conclusion with the sale to Football Ventures.
“At times, some of the hurdles appeared insurmountable and the frustration felt has been immense, not least by the supporters who have had to endure too many weeks of uncertainty.
“I would like to pay particular tribute to the Eddie Davies Trust and their legal team who, throughout this whole process, have been willing to do everything in their power to ensure Eddie’s incredible legacy was maintained and not sullied.
“Even at the 11th hour when other parties were content to renege on their agreements, the Trust realised the very existence of Bolton Wanderers was at stake and were willing to find a compromise to save the club.
“It is a testament to their unflinching determination to do what was best for Bolton that we are able to complete the deal today.
“The Trust were forced to constantly compromise their position in the face of circumstances and demands which were wholly unreasonable. This says much about their determination not to allow Eddie’s beloved Bolton Wanderers to suffer any longer at the hands of Ken Anderson.”
‘DEMANDS WERE WHOLLY UNREASONABLE’
Football Ventures’ offer is a ‘credit deal’ that will also be paid over time. It includes less money up front than a rival offer from a Manchester property tycoon.
However, FV moved faster and got their legal work done ahead of their opponents, who also wanted to buy the club but had to land the hotel first.
Brittan has been after Bolton since November and struggled to find the finances to take the club out of admin despite being made preferred bidder on July 1.
New backers were brought on board including long-term business ally and drummer Mason, and Keith Morris, a retired former insurance company owner.
The group will pay around £10m for the club side of the deal and a further £7.5m for the hotel.
But the owners will immediately run into financial issues as salaries are due to be paid tomorrow.
Several new players are needed and those contracts will come onto the payroll as soon as possible.
And Bury’s expulsion from the EFL last night means that a money-spinning televised local derby on September 8 is off at the cost of around £200,000 in lost revenue.
Bolton’s next home game in League One is against Oxford on September 17, a midweek match where they will hope for more than the low 5,000 gate from last weekend.
Bolton are also due to play in the EFL Trophy next week at home to Bradford but that is due to involved fringe players – so they will need to be allowed to sign some quickly.