In a statement released this afternoon it has been revealed that the Bolton Wanderers Supporters' Trust have entered the race to purchase the club from current owner Eddie Davies, and by doing so hope to pip other bidders, such as Dean Holdsworth's Sports Shield consortium, to the post, as well as make Bolton Wanderers a fan owned club.
The statement reads:
"We have written to the owner, Eddie Davies. We have expressed our commitment to help lead an acquisition, in conjunction with local institutions and businesses, from whom we have received a very positive response. Our objective is to raise sufficient funding to secure the future of the Club for the benefit of the supporters, the community and the town. We would not engage with anyone who didn't share our commitment to a community investment.
We have requested immediate access to management and financial information and preferred bidder status."
Basically meaning that the Trust have written a letter to Davies asking them to be the preferred bidder over the other parties vying for ownership. The funding for this will be raised through investment from local institutions and businesses, along with the pledges from members of the Trust.
For those concerned that all this is moving quite fast, especially since the Trust's AGM elections have not yet taken place do have a point, however, with the club due in court again less than a month from now, time is of the essence and the process has to begin now.
The statement also said:
"Ideally, we would have started this process once membership fees had been taken, an AGM held and a board voted in, but time is against us and we have had to act now to try to secure the Club's future. We continue to take guidance from Supporters Direct, who have 15 years experience of helping supporters at other clubs through similar situations."
You can read the full statement here.
In a Q&A segment below the statement, amongst many other answered questions, it's clarified what role members of the Trust will have in the takeover.
Each Trust member will get an ordinary share in the section of the club that the Trust owns. If more people join the Trust, more shares will be released and ultimately your personal share will be worth less in the long run (should the Trust sell the club on), but you will own a piece of your club, which not many football fans can say.
Obviously we should all approach this with advised caution, scepticism and ask the right question but, personally, I find this to be an incredibly exciting and intriguing proposition.
We'll be keeping an eye on the situation as and when it unfolds.