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Laurence Bassini insists he has not reneged on Bolton promises

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Laurence Bassini has hit back at claims he did not honour financial obligations after agreeing a deal with Ken Anderson to buy his shares in Wanderers.

A statement issued by the club this morning claimed that the former Watford owner has not provided the short-term funding which was pledged as part of a Sale and Purchase Agreement announced on April 17.

Anderson followed up the statement with a set of web-notes which expanded on his frustrations and concluded with him setting a Monday deadline for Bassini to “complete outstanding matters” or he would “consider alternative arrangements”.

Bassini says he will be bringing in forensic accountants early this week and denied that he had broken promises to staff or reneged on the agreement with Anderson.

“I worked through the night with Paul Aldridge to get this done and there was nothing anywhere that said I had guaranteed short-term funding,” he said. “If there is, then I’d like someone to show me it. There was nothing at all that said I had to do ‘A,B and C.’”

The statement claimed that Bassini had personally assured players and coaching staff that wages would be paid by Wednesday. The lack of payment then led to the first team squad going on strike and forcing the cancellation of today’s Championship game against Brentford.

“I had a meeting with the manager and said I would deal with the wages but I could not put a time frame on it. Anyone who says I did is incorrect,” Bassini said.

“I explained to them that I could not pay them directly because I would be in breach of the EFL rules and that could trigger all sorts of problems down the line. I came up with a way around it and produced £1million in clear funds – a fact which can be backed up by the lawyers involved and Sir Dave Richards, a knight of the realm, and one of the most trusted names in football.

“Still the mandate wasn’t there. He didn’t produce the share certificate.

“The accounts are still frozen and I am not just going to hand money over blindly because I don’t know where it is going.

“I have been trying to get information to help me change things but it has not been forthcoming. It’s like the whole place is scared.

“I have been working on getting a validation order but I have not had the responses I need. Things are just all over the place.

“On Monday I want to get people in and deal with this properly, regardless of how much it costs.”

The club statement claimed Anderson put in money at the last moment to ensure emergency services were paid ahead of the Aston Villa match, allowing the stadium safety certificate to stand.

Bassini denies there was any agreement in place for him to supply the funds.

“They were hassling me to do it and to pay it would have taken one second – but again, the share certificate never arrived. He held on to it.

“If he didn’t want to hand it to me directly then someone could have held the shares in trust. But I am not going to just hand over money blind.

“He mentioned Metro Bank in the statement and some of my businesses are with them but if I wanted a large sum of money right away I’d phone up my brother, who runs a PLC company, and he can send it."

Bassini said he was disappointed that the statement released this morning was put out under the club’s name.

“It isn’t the club, it is Ken,” he said. “I feel sorry that good people are having to write those things and put them out there.

“He can keep writing notes, that’s fine because I have facts and evidence to back up what I am saying and I am speaking to my legal people now to make sure this is brought to justice.

“I feel that Ken Anderson’s ownership has caused staff, players and fans a lot of heartache. And for what? There is zero reason other than money.

“I think he would push it to liquidation, I really do.”

Bassini says he will be presenting a new funding plan to the EFL this week and says he has documented proof of funds of circa £20million, “to begin with,” he added.

The 49-year-old says his money has come from property and three companies, along with significant family assets.

“We are running out of valuable time,” Bassini said. “We need the validation order so we can open up the accounts and pay some money in.

“I promise I am doing this for the right reasons, I am honestly passionate about saving this club.”

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