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Revealed: Bolton Wanderers' Ongoing Financial Woes Make for Scary Reading

Last day in court, or is it?

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

4-0 to Bolton Wanderers isn't something that Bolton fans are used to hearing in recent times, but thanks to the lawyer representing Bolton in court, the lovely Hilary Stonefrost, that is exactly what we got.

In just a few short minutes, barring one minor hiccup, Hilary completed her victory against HMRC, confirming that all tax debts had been fully paid and the petition to wind up Bolton Wanderers was cancelled by the judge.

The minor hiccup was the bizarre case of a former Bolton player, who over the last week or so, had attached himself to the HMRC petition for outstanding payments.

However, whoever did this couldn't be bothered to turn up in court to press his claim and it was thrown out. I'll leave it to you to think of any former players who've recently left and might not have received full payments...

So, all is well with the world, Eddie Davies is behind us, Lennon has gone and £200m debt is now reduced to less than £30m.

All we have to do is to look forward to discussing how Holdsworth and Anderson can set things up for Bolton Wanderers to have a crack at promotion next season.

Or so you'd think.

It seems that the current plight of Bolton is seen in some circles as following the path of another famous club, namely Glasgow Rangers.

Shady dealings, people lurking in the background with dubious histories, actions taken that weren't in the best interests of the club, that kind of thing.

All interesting conspiracy stuff but nothing that can be presented as real world fact. So lets get to the facts!

Over a post court session coffee, with a couple of lads who know what they're talking about, I had a crash course in club finance.

Like most fans, I follow Bolton for the football and not the finer details of financial accounting, so lots of what followed, wasn't fully followed by me, but I did get the important points.

Dean Holdsworth (DH) via Sports Shield and Ken Anderson (KA) via Inner Circle Group have bought the approx 95% shares in Burnden Leisure from Eddie Davies for one English pound. Eddie Davies (ED) has waived £170m of debt but just as importantly left £15m debt in the club.

The deal means that the new owners will have to pay ED a cut on any future profits over the next five years. DH and KA injected £7.5m into BWFC to pay off debts, such as HMRC, and stated in court that they expected to get to the end of June with £500k left in the piggy bank.

This £7.5m was loaned against club assets from investors who expect repayments to start this July.

Burnden Leisure own the stadium, hotel and conference facilities and of course Lostock. If you go to the Companies House website you can find out what investor companies have used as assurance for their loans to DH & KA.

For instance a company called Blumarble has £5m against Burnden Leisures assets. This covers most of the £7.5m loan.

Then there's the other outstanding debts. PBP have another £5.5m costs for the north car park redevelopment. Previous directors are allegedly thought to be still owed another £3.5m.

These are all assured against Burnden Leisure assets.

In summary, the clubs assets are now being used as assurance against loans and outstanding debts.

In addition, the further Bolton fall down the leagues, the less these club assets are worth. This means that the total amount that DH & KA can lend against reduces the more the club drop down the leagues.

However, a sobering thought is that although the club assets may diminish, they sit on prime development land of stable worth. Hence if debtors don't get their money, they can sell off the land to redevelopers, probably with a tidy profit.

Finally, are the monthly losses.

We have to shed staff to balance the books. However a large portion of the current highly paid squad have contracts running until next summer.

Darren Pratley has one until 2018 and Ben Amos until 2019!

If we can't offload these players in the summer, we have to pay for them. Imagine selling our sought after youngsters to fund the wages of senior players who have so spectacularly failed this season. It doesn't bear thinking about.

To be fair to DH and KA, they may sell the high earners, they may put a low cost squad together that balances the books. They may get promotion to the Championship. They may eventually get promotion to the Prem. But they may not and if they don't, how are they going to pay for it?

As a fan, I'm normally glass half full type. I thought that Bolton would beat Leeds, Preston and Bristol. I thought Lennon could do the business and thought that Phillips would pull a rabbit out of the hat.

Off the field though, I have no illusions. In the 37 years I've been supporting Bolton, nothing comes close to the peril our club is in at the moment. This takeover has potentially just kicked the administration can a few months down the road.

The big test is in July when the various loans the new owners have got need to start to be paid off.

I currently can't see anything other than disaster happening next season where relegation to League Two will be the least of our worries. All I can do is hope that DH has the biggest rabbit out of the hat trick we've ever seen and proves me hopelessly wrong.

I'm not holding my breath.