IN what was either a dramatic turn of events or a farcical indictment of Wanderers’ ongoing takeover saga – Laurence Bassini stood in the shadow of Nat Lofthouse’s statue yesterday evening insisting he loved the club “just as much” as the supporters.
The former Watford owner arrived 45 minutes late to a meeting he had scheduled via an interview with the Jewish Telegraph newspaper, in which he claimed to be ready to save Bolton from liquidation by telling them “the truth”.
Around 60 people, including media, gathered to hear him list a number of claims against Wanderers’ former owner Ken Anderson and the current administration team substantiated, he maintained, by a stack of printed emails he brought with him.
Bassini claims there will be a judicial review into his dealings with Anderson and Rubin and Partners, who are overseeing the sale of the club.
Although he was beaten to preferred bidder status by the Football Ventures consortium but says he is willing to inject funds independently.
“I have been told today that we are going to serve a specific performance to get this deal done,” he said. “My solicitors talked about an injunction, but I am not going to have it, even though there is a threat of it, because I don’t want to be the cause of this club if it goes down, for it to have an excuse.
“I am even willing to pay the players and if I get my money back, I get my money back, to keep this club going because I love it as much as you guys.
“I love football and I care. Whoever thinks I’m mad, and all the rest of it, but I’m not mad. I care.
“I don’t even have to own it – let me bring in 10 or 12 players. I don’t have to own this club.”
Bassini then indicated his pursuit of the club had not stopped – and that he would intervene if the Football Ventures consortium does not complete the deal soon.
“I will not stop. I am going to step in. If they are not going to do this, if they had £25m what has the hotel got to do with it three weeks later?
“One of the guys who had the funding pulled out and I’d like to see the money that was in a bank account, according to them.
“I am not doing it for money. There is no money in this for me.
Asked why the Stanmore-based property developer had persisted in trying to buy Wanderers, he added: “Why? Because it took to me when I was here and the people are real.”