Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Friday 11th December, 2015
Crisis hit Bolton Wanderers Football Club has been issued with a winding up petition by HMRC over unpaid taxes, with the club now facing a battle to avoid administration.
Bolton’s bosses had been hoping that HMRC would afford them more time to facilitate a sale of the club but that time has not been granted with tax arrears reportedly mounting up and already worth in excess of £600,000.
Prospects for the Greater Manchester club are now very uncertain with entry into administration a real possibility unless fresh funds can be raised in the near term.
A statement issued by Bolton Wanderers said: “Despite requests from the club to HMRC to give it further time to either conclude a sale or raise additional funds, HMRC has proceeded with due process and duly served a petition.”
Trevor Birch, who was appointed recently to help Bolton’s board find new owners and avoid administration, said: “Quite clearly the club remains in a critical financial position.
“We will continue to try and finalise a sale or alternatively raise some short-term funds needed to give the club a breathing space and time in which to consider its options.”
An entry into administration could have significant ramifications for Bolton as a football club and as a business, with the Football League’s rules stipulating that any club that enters administration will be hit with an automatic 12-point deduction in the context of their division.
Any such point deduction would almost certainly lead to relegation from the Championship into League One for Bolton Wanderers.
Speaking recently prior to HMRC’s issue of a winding up petition, Bolton’s first team manager Neil Lennon said: “Trevor has a few plans in place to avoid that scenario.
“That may mean doing things around the stadium in terms of selling bits off, I don't know. He's confident that he can avoid that.
“That would mean we would be a League One team and we're just fulfilling fixtures for the rest of the season. What we need is someone to come up with the money, help the club out, and just get us through a difficult period to January.”
It was revealed recently that Bolton’s players did not receive their wages for November, with issues relating to the club’s non-payment of PAYE and VAT seemingly becoming increasingly serious and problematic every day.