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Bolton ownership race takes a twist after EFL player backing

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Saturday's team-sheet looked to contain a few good omens for the long-running takeover saga at Wanderers.

Speaking at the weekend, Phil Parkinson hoped the EFL’s willingness to register James Weir, Josh Earl and Harry Brockbank prior to kick-off at Adams Park was a sign that the Football Ventures consortium were finally closing in on their much-mooted deal for club and hotel.

Though neighbouring Bury are struggling to convince the league that a CVA proposed by owner, Steve Dale, can be funded, the league has been proactive in pushing Bolton’s takeover towards completion.

“I think that is as good an indication as you are likely to get that this might be over soon,” Parkinson said after the game.

“The EFL, Debbie Jevans, has tried everything to help us get this takeover across the line and to register players. We have been told by them it is very close.

“But as I’ve said before, it’s not every week which is costing us, it’s every day. There is so much work to be done to get a squad to compete at this level.

“When you are getting on the coach with five senior players, five of which are outfield players, then to get to where we need to be, there’s a lot of work to be done.”

It is now known that clubs who have entered into a season in administration have been allowed to register players by the league before, although an application must be made by the administrators.

Football Ventures’ desire to buy both club and hotel together, dealing with separate administrators, has added another layer of complexity to the deal.

By rights, bids for the hotel can be made until Friday, August 9, although administrators, Quantuma, reserve the right to end the process early if they feel a bid is particularly outstanding. This could take as little as 24 hours.

It is understood Football Ventures have put together an offer indicative of the fact one of the business’ major creditors, Michael James, is on their board of directors. Despite seemingly being in a position to submit a full offer on Friday, the brakes were applied after a senior creditor requested a change in the wording of the contract, which then needed to be signed-off by a number of different people.

That may have left a chink of light for competing offers, one of which is reported to have come from the owners of online fashion chain Boohoo.com.

The Kamani brothers, Umar and Adam, are based in the North West and also own the label, PrettyLittleThing – part of a business empire now valued at around £2billion.

The ongoing uncertainty over ownership is unlikely to be good news for Phil Parkinson and his efforts to add to his squad before the weekend’s game at home to Coventry City.

The Bolton boss feels his players have responded well despite the chaos which has been going on around them this summer.

“We have had a pre-season, even though we haven’t had official friendlies we’ve played behind closed doors and done well,” he said.

“The team, which has been a mixture of our own players and trialists, have won games.

“If we had got close to the team I wanted on the pitch (at Wycombe) I feel we would have got something from the game, in fact I’d have expected us to win it.

“But we weren’t able to for various reasons. The club, the supporters, the town, deserves better. I am just really hoping that sooner rather than later it can be resolved.”

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