BOLTON WANDERERS have been slapped with a winding-up petition over an unpaid £5million loan.
But chairman Ken Anderson is trying to wriggle out of the order that would rock the club – with the £5m plus interest and penalty payments making the total an estimated £8.5m.
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The Trotters can secure automatic promotion back to Championship this weekend after just one year -but this will loom over League 1 outfit.
A High Court date has been set for 22 May, with the club falling into difficulty in relation to money let by finance company BluMarble to Sport Sheild – led by former striker Dean Holdsworth.
The money given in March 2016 was to buy a 94.5 per cent stake in Burnden Leisure – the holding company for Bolton Wanderers, alongside the Inner Circle Club, a network of investors led by former agent Ken Anderson.
And Anderson claims Holdsworth’s Sports Shield company are responsible for the loan and repayment.
Last month, the Inner Circle Club bought Sport Shield’s shares with Anderson becoming the majority owner at the Macron Stadium – and Holdsworth continuing as a club ambassador.
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Now, Wanderers have been issued with a winding-up petition over the transaction with the club currently second in League 1 behind already-promoted Sheffield United.
BBC Radio Manchester reports that Bolton have said they know of the action, but believe it is a matter for Sport Shield, with BluMarble fed up with being put off when they asked for their money.
The club said: “Bolton Wanderers Football Club has been made aware of the proposed action by BluMarble in respect of their arrangements with Sports Shield BWFC.
“This matter relates to Sports Shield BWFC and it is therefore inappropriate for either Burnden Leisure, Bolton Wanderers Football Club or Inner Circle Investments to comment and as such will not make any further statement about this issue at this present time.”
Should Phil Parkinson’s side beat Peterborough on Sunday, they will secure an instant return to the second tier – but a draw is likely to also mean a top-two finish.