Phil Gartside is currently suffering from a serious illness and we at the Lion of Vienna Suite wish him a speedy recovery.
Bolton Wanderers, in his absence, have hired Trevor Birch to act as an interim chairman to advise the board on contractual issues and assist with the takeover negotiations. Birch is a successful lawyer and insolvency specialist who has been involved in the sales of Chelsea and Leeds United. He has also worked as Chief Executive of Derby and Southampton, and Chairman of Sheffield United.
The appointment is, undoubtedly, due to the unforeseen circumstances, regardless of whether Birch had any role in takeover talks before today. Despite the Burnden Leisure board possibly wanting to liquidate after a takeover, Birch's CV suggests a role in the takeover talks with the consortium led by Dean Holdsworth rather than his role being an insolvency lawyer.
Insolvency is where a company cannot pay it's debts, something he had to work with at Portsmouth when he oversaw the club going into administration. Portsmouth's chairman had however celebrated his contribution to the club in the difficult time, despite sarcastically suggesting 'building a statue' at Fratton Park to commemorate him.
Eddie Davies, Bolton's owner, is pleased with the appointment. Brett Warbuton, vice chairman of the club, said in a statement:
Eddie has provided an incredible level of financial support which has brought the club great success and meant huge enjoyment to all fans. We all owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.
He went on to say:
Unfortunately, since relegation, we haven't been able to turn things around on the pitch and re-gain promotion despite running a very high player wage bill. As the Premier League parachute funding disappears we need to find further funding to replace it. Eddie has indicated that he can't provide any further funding and we have therefore been working hard to attract the appropriate investment to take this club forward.
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