Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Friday 20th November, 2015
Bolton Wanderers Football Club has appointed the insolvency expert Trevor Birch as an advisor to its board of directors as the club’s financial crisis continues.
Birch has been appointed to lead negotiations between Bolton’s current owner Eddie Davies and any parties interested in acquiring the club and its assets.
However, Birch’s task appears to be a considerable one with the club having reported debts of £172.9 million earlier this year and its chairman Phil Gartside having recently revealed that he is suffering from an unspecified but serious illness.
To make matters worse, the football club is struggling on the field as well as off it, with Neil Lennon’s team currently sat second from bottom of the Skybet Championship and facing the prospect of being relegated to the third tier of English football.
It is understood that Davies, to whom most of Bolton’s debts are owed, is looking to sell his controlling stake in the club with new owners now being actively sought.
A statement issued by the club this week said: “The board of Bolton Wanderers Football Club has today, announced the appointment of Trevor Birch to act on behalf of the club and owner with immediate effect.
“The role will see Trevor providing assistance to the board and owner which will include managing negotiations with the various parties who have expressed an interest in purchasing the club.”
Reflecting on the efforts and the current position of the club’s owner, its vice-chairman Brett Warburton said: “Eddie has provided an incredible level of financial support which has brought the club great success and meant huge enjoyment to all fans. We all owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.
“Eddie has indicated that he can’t provide any further funding and we have therefore been working hard to attract the appropriate investment to take this club forward.”
Bolton Wanderers spent more than a decade in the top flight of English football from 2001 but were relegated from the lucrative Premier League in 2012.
The club is currently the most heavily indebted in the Championship and could be docked 12 points as punishment by the Football League if it enters administration.