Bolton Wanderers have confirmed that a deal has been reached to sell the club to former Watford owner Laurence Bassini, subject to clearance from the EFL.
The club have been looking for a buyer for many months amid serious financial struggles. Players were not paid their wages for March, but outstanding debts will be able to be cleared if this deal goes through.
The club confirmed the news on their official website, writing: “Bolton Wanderers Football Club are delighted to announce that a sale and purchase agreement has been signed which will see Ken Anderson’s shareholding in Burnden Leisure Limited being sold to Mr Laurence Bassini.
“This agreement will give Laurence Bassini full control of Burnden Leisure Limited and of course both Bolton Wanderers Football Club and Whites Hotel.
“The change of ownership requires approval by the English Football League before the deal can be finalised. The financial terms of the transaction will remain private and confidential between the parties.
“Prior to the ratification by the EFL, significant funds will be immediately be made available to the club enabling the payment of the outstanding wages to the players and coaching staff along with a number of the long term creditors.
“Once completion has occurred, all the long terms debts to HMRC and suppliers will be settled.”
Back in 2013, Bassini was handed a three-year ban prohibiting him from getting involved with any EFL club after he was found guilty of misconduct in Watford‘s financial dealings between 2011 and 2012.
He has previously tried to buy Portsmouth, but now appears set to assume control of Bolton. The club have been late in their wage payments to players in both February and March, and have appeared in court twice to battle an unpaid tax bill.
Performances on the field have been just as disappointing, with Phil Parkinson’s side nearing relegation from the Championship – a fate which would be confirmed with defeat against fifth-placed Aston Villa on Friday.