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Takeover Gossip: Australian consortium to buy Bolton Wanderers?

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Are Wanderers getting money from Down Under?

Bolton Wanderers v Blackpool - FA Cup Third Round Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images

According to reports coming from Australian newspaper Herald Sun, an Australian consortium is eyeing a move for an English club, with Bolton Wanderers high up on the list.

The article states:

"HAWTHORN coach Alastair Clarkson is advising an Australian consortium plotting the takeover of a UK soccer club.

The four-time premiership coach has been in talks with Australian Football Consortium Ltd (AFC), which wants to buy an underperforming English team and take it to the Premier League.

The group, led by prominent management consultant Gerard Murphy, is undergoing a “confidential capital raise” with the aim of acquiring $55 million from investors.

Clarkson, who met with AFC directors before the start of the AFL season, has strong links with Bolton Wanderers — now in third-tier League One — and has helped facilitate introductions.

Clarkson’s experience in building a club from the ground up has also enticed him to the soccer project.

Socceroos great Mark Schwarzer and Australian national coach Ange Postecoglou are also part of an advisory group operating pro bono.

The consortium has appointed consultants Deloitte to do feasibility studies on six clubs, with beleaguered Charlton Athletic and Coventry City believed to be among them.

Murphy, who engineered Geelong’s leadership group overhaul in 2007 and has worked for Crystal Palace and the Rugby Football Union in England, said the goal was simple.

“We want to acquire a club and over time elevate it to the Premier League by putting in place best practice,” Murphy said.

“One of the things that’s really important is that we respect the history and tradition of the club. The supporters are part of the process, they’re key stakeholders and that’s absolutely vital from our perspective.

“We’re doing this to grow the club. We want to build a club and we want to invest heavily in the academy side of it.”

If Bolton were to be promoted, it would certainly make them a more attractive prospect to purchase.

Wanderers have previously been linked to takeovers from Chinese and Saudi Arabian consortiums.

So, what do you think?