clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Friday Thoughts: The Brand New Liam O'Meara Column

New, comments

In the first of his new weekly series, Liam unloads his Bolton Wanderers brain for your reading pleasure

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Bolton Wanderers for Sale:

As the current season has finally ended and we can now look forward to another campaign in the SkyBet Championship, internal matters can now be addressed.

As well as the tough job Bolton Wanderers manager Neil Lennon has of both assembling a team that can challenge at this competitive level as well as improving the reflective image for his personal brand with the style of play involved.

Behind the scenes there has been a lot of activity in the past 12 months, previous talks of a prospective takeover from a Thai Consortium petered out and the club acknowledged at this stage they were looking to sell the club should the correct agreement come along.

For any prospective interested party, despite the common perception, Bolton Wanderers is very much an attractive proposition.

The club owns strong assets including the Eddie Davies Academy & the hotel complex and the new Free School. These assets, from a money lending perspective, this would allow an owner / or prospective investor to raise capital, making the purchase more viable and allowing other funds to be used elsewhere in the investment.

These valuable assets could be used as security to allow new owners to raise capital for investment or growth  - similar to re-mortgaging your home. So in football terms, if Burnden Leisure Plc. wanted to invest in let's say, players for a strong transfer window, this option could very much be explored.

Except at Bolton Wanderers, we know this is not the case.

Our generous benefactor, Mr Eddie Davies, has bankrolled the club through some significant commercial development but his personal Return on Investment has been hit by our relegation to the Championship.

For all intents and purposes, all the money Bolton Wanderers owes is to our owners company and last financial year Bolton Wanderers made clear steps to reduce their annual losses.

It is my view this was done with the intention to sell the club and if the club is not sold within the next 12 months, expect the figure to be reduced further as the club try to show they can be self-sufficient and in fact operate at a profit if required.

Despite the fact that this week Bolton Wanderers have ‘categorically denied' they are currently negotiating with a Northern Irish consortium headed by businesses man Gerry Carlile, it is widely understood that recently three separate interested parties have enquired about the situation.

Given the circumstances surrounding a possible takeover, it would not be a stretch to suggest the main point of discussion is the current amount owned to incumbent owner Eddie Davies.

The current figure stands in excess of £170 million and how much of this figure Mr Davies is looking to rightly recuperate only those at the negotiating table could know.

Discussions are likely to centre around debt repayments and what can and can't be written off and any deal will have to overcome this most high of hurdles.

Expect to hear more on this throughout the summer.

Neil Lennon so Far.

Those who know me will know I have always been a huge fan of Neil Lennon, not just the combative player and progressive manager but also the man who has consistently risen and shone throughout the most difficult of circumstances.

I was overjoyed when the news broke on Sunday afternoon that we had managed to capture the Ulsterman's services but I also reserved a small amount of fear that even the great man could not cure the poisonous decline Bolton had suffered over the years' previous.

Despite my own affections, I understand that Lennon is a man who divides opinion as in the past the pressures put on the young manager have boiled over, particularly in victory but I was encouraged to see that the large majority of disillusioned Bolton Wanderers fans were excited by the proposition of Lennon at the helm of the club (a stark contrast from a Wanderers fan invading the pitch to ride the corner flag like a horse just days before).

Lennon's tenure started in dream fashion as Bolton Wanderers collected their first away win of the season atBirmingham City, where a Matt Mills goal was enough to defeat the Blues. The occasion of Lennon's first game was marked with the manager being sent to the stands as he desperately tried to convey to his side who should take a late penalty as Craig Davies missed despite Lennon's best efforts to elect Jay Spearing as taker.

Exciting Stuff indeed from Mr Lennon's premier tie but the least exciting aspect was perhaps the most telling and the clean sheet away from home was a priceless boost to a Wanderers defence that had been ruthlessly picked apart by numerous sides.

Sure enough, at home at least, the Wanderers form picked up dramatically and the Trotters began to pull themselves from the abyss into more familiar Championship midtable mediocrity. Bolton still struggled on the road as Lennon found it tougher to adapt his new systems to situations where the opponents would apply continued pressure.

As the season petered out into nothing, we as Bolton fans were left scratching out heads as to whether his impact had been successful. I will be very clear in my view that Mr Lennon's appointment was an absolute Godsend and when you look at how our neighbours have fared this year, you can appreciate that we have really dodged a bullet here and we can all scratch this season off and hope for better times for the future.

An interesting transfer window lies ahead for Neil Lennon as he continues to mould this Bolton Wanderers side into his own and I would expect a very different line-up on the first day of our new season.

Oh, and yes Tim Ream is still shit.