Bringing Bolton Back – A Financial Solution?

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Having struggled financially ever since relegation from the Premier League in 2012, a further sign of recovery has emerged with news that current chairman Ken Anderson has met with several potential Far East investors interested in investing in the club. This comes just six months after a consortium led by Dean Holdsworth took over the club to prevent them falling into administration. This news may bring some relief to their fans who have seen them suffer two relegations in five seasons.

These last few seasons must feel like an ever-lasting nightmare for Bolton fans who can remember the heady days back in the 2007-08 season when notable results included a draw at Bayern Munich and a win over two legs against Atletico Madrid. Despite this plus the financial security of eleven straight Premier League seasons, Bolton were already losing money and by December 2015, they were £172.9million in debt. This added further misery to a season in which they finished bottom of the Championship whilst failing to win away all season. In order to keep the club afloat, players on high wages had to be released or sold; the club’s training ground and stadium were also sold in order to raise funds. 

The majority of the debt was owed to previous owner Eddie Davies but once the takeover was complete in March 2016 he admitted he did not wish to claim the money back. The tax bill was paid off and the club is now attempting recovery having made a decent start in League One. Despite the improvement in financial stability, Bolton remain under a transfer embargo after breaching financial fair play rules for excessive losses. This news of potential new investment may finally allow a few sighs of relief from those in charge, although there might be a few reservations about foreign investment, especially considering the situations at Hull and Cardiff. The recent Far East spendings in the Midlands clubs suggests board members and owners alike may be showing more trust in money from abroad. Should a deal be struck, then Bolton fans may well be able to experience the bright lights and lavish spending of the Premier League once again.