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Are Bolton Wanderers a Viable Going Concern? Part 1

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As Ken Anderson vies to become sole owner, what is going on at our club?

Bolton Wanderers v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Let's start this tale with those overdue accounts. They have been the Achilles heel of the current incumbents of the Bolton boardroom in so many ways. Which is ironic as they actually cover the last full 'football' financial year of the previous Eddie Davies regime, 01 Jul 14 to 30 Jun 15.

Anyhow, as this accounting period ended, the first indications became visible to us fans that all was not well at the Wanderers. There was the Tim Ream firesale to Fulham which left us with Moxey at left back. Then there was Gartsides inability to get another overdraft from Barclays Bank. This led to Phil (there's absolutely nothing to worry about the huge debt) Gartside getting a 'short term' loan from Nucleus Commercial Finance, secured against club assets and with high interest rates. Lovely...

You know what followed next whilst Eddie tried to sell the club; Macron offices sold, Euxton training ground sold, even a fecking car park sold, wages not paid right before Christmas, a transfer embargo and HMRC incurred winding up court appearances, to name a few...

Anyhow after interest shown by a Middle East‘'Billionaire and oil magnate’ ownership eventually transferred to the Holdsworth and Anderson ‘dream team’ on 11 Mar 16 and Eddie Davies was El Presidente.

After almost 9 months of utter financial meltdown, fans hoped that the new regime could get things in order. The takeover resulted in Davies 'wiping' £170m of a £185m total debt that our good club owed the ‘lifelong Bolton fan’. Repayment of the outstanding £15m owed to Eddie was repackaged as a 'success loan' and repayments deferred to the end of the next season. This left an estimated £10m of debt to be serviced immediately by the new owners.

This ‘immediate’ debt was increased by a Blumarble loan of approximately £5m, brought to the table by Holdsworth’s company SportShield and also secured against club assets at takeover. If you thought the previous Nucleus loan was high interest, it was nothing compared to this bad boy. A flipping high price to pay to enable the new owners to have funding in place until at least the summer.

So that's £30m debt at kick off. Oh and there's the small matter that the club is still losing approximately £1m per month until the player wage bill can be reduced. Not exactly buying the club for a pound is it!

Andersons contribution to the takeover was reported (and stated in the winding up court sessions) to be a guarantee of an immediate £2.5m investment. Another sum reported for the following season was rumoured but never confirmed to be amounts ranging from £5m to £7.5m to even £15m. Let's face it, it'll be needed.

The Holdsworth and Anderson investments were crucial to getting conditional EFL approval for their takeover of a founder member of the football league. The important point here was that EFL approval needed evidence or guarantees that a funded business plan was in place at takeover to take us through to the end of the 16/17 season.

Anderson became chairman and seeing as his investment into the club was actually reported to come from his own pocket, you couldn't argue with that.

It was later reported that Anderson was only going to draw down on his £2.5m investment 'as and when it was needed' rather than putting it in the club coffers from the off. Once again, as it was his money, it seemed a fair point. His alleged plan to recover any cash spent if other funding became available did seem to be taking the proverbial though!

Going forward, with the relegation fight a lost cause, Lennon was sacked and Jimmy Phillips put in temporary charge. As the team struggled through way too many dead rubber games, we had a passionate Holdsworth on our screens giving his all. We had to wait a good month before our new chairman made an appearance.

What were his plans? Could he polish the turd of Boltons on and off field hopelessness?

This I aim to cover next in Part 2 - coming tomorrow.