Numbers have been crunched, bills have been stacked, meetings have been held, all with a view to finding a buyer who can – hopefully – restore some order to a proud club.
Other than the initial statement, which hinted that time is of the essence, there have been no other public declarations from the administration team. So here we sum up what we know so far.
HARD WORK BEGINS
The first task for the team of 10 accountants brought in on the first week of administration was to ‘look under the bonnet’ and assess every aspect of the club’s finances.
The aim is to create a ‘data room’ which will allow easier access for potential buyers into the inner workings of the club. Effectively, it is a way of doing due diligence for someone.
It will also give a clear picture of all assets and liabilities – such as what money is available and how much is going out. Administrators hope to have what they call a ‘statement of affairs’ prepared in the next few days.
THERE ARE OFFERS
The phone calls and emails began from the moment administrators set up office at the University of Bolton Stadium, and time is now ticking.
We know a group from China, who already own Shandong Luneng, have expressed an interest, although it is unclear whether they have submitted an actual bid with the administrators.
Members of the Football Ventures consortium are also in the mix. Laurence Bassini claims his representatives submitted a bid on Friday.
The administrators are also in dialogue with the Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust, who are examining their fundraising options, including a share issue. The Trust has also said it would look to work with any suitable and sustainable owner to try and give fans a greater voice.
WHAT IS BEING SOLD?
The University of Bolton Stadium is owned by the club, who also have a long-term lease on their Lostock training ground from Bolton Council.
Wanderers own some land adjacent to the training ground, off Ox Hey Lane,and some of the car parking land around the stadium.
The hotel would normally come under the club’s umbrella but is currently in the hands of another administrator, which renders its future and relationship with the main club unknown.
The complication for any buyer will not be to pay a large fee up front for Bolton but to satisfy chargeholders, who have loaned money to the club in the past and secured it against assets.
They are late owner Eddie Davies’s company, Moonshift Investments, former owner Ken Anderson, local businessman Michael James and ex-vice-chairman, Brett Warburton. Barclays Bank are also classed as a chargeholder as they underwrite the club’s credit facilities for Direct Debits, etc.
Though Rubin and Partners have been appointed by Fildraw as administrators for Burnden Leisure Ltd – the parent company – and Bolton Wanderers Football and Athletic Company Ltd, a totally different administrator has been brought in to handle the Bolton Whites Hotel by Ken Anderson.
Though both teams have stated they will work together to achieve their common aim of rescuing the business, there are potential complications which arise due to the sheer proximity of the two operations. Maintenance, for example, has traditionally been spread across both the club and hotel, as has marketing and PR.
WHAT ABOUT PAY?
Both sets of staff have been addressed by their respective administrators, who appreciate the difficulties which have been placed on the workforce in the last few months.
By law, from the date a company is placed into administration, ongoing wages will be paid to all contracted employees. Backdated pay is dependent on a number of factors. As things stand, staff have not been given any cast-iron guarantees on the expected timeframe.