Bolton Wanderers: High Court hearing over £1.2m unpaid tax bill adjourned – BBC Sport

Bolton Wanderers: High Court hearing over £1.2m unpaid tax bill adjourned - BBC Sport

Wanderers to appear in High Court over HMRC winding-up petition

The club, who are up for sale, appeared in the High Court on Wednesday over an unpaid £1.2m tax bill.

However, it is understood owner Ken Anderson has agreed terms with a buyer who will pay off their debts and the hearing was adjourned until 3 April.

Boltons recent history has been one of financial turmoil. On several occasions this season players have been paid late and earlier this month desperate staff were forced to take out small amounts to put petrol in their cars and food on the table after Februarys wages were delayed.

On Tuesday, Bolton confirmed takeover talks with an interested party, believed to be the Football Ventures consortium, had ended.

Bolton Wanderers have been given a stay of execution after the cash-strapped Championship club had been dragged before the High Court on Wednesday morning to answer a winding up petition which could have put them into administration and even resulted in liquidation.

The Championship club now have 14 days to complete a takeover and clear their debts to avoid a winding-up order, which would leave them facing administration or liquidation and a points deduction.

A winding-up petition is a legal notice put forward to court by a creditor. The creditor can issue the petition if they are owed over £750 and it has not been paid for more than 21 days.

Wednesdays brief High Court hearing in London was the sixth time in 16 months that Wanderers have defended a winding-up petition because of unpaid tax.

Last month Bolton said an “agreement in principle” had been reached for Anderson to sell the club to the consortium, but it is now unknown if a deal will happen.

In 2016, the club successfully avoided being wound up and paid off a £2.2m tax bill when Dean Holdsworths Sports Shield consortium and Andersons Inner Circle completed a last-minute takeover.

The company’s lawyer revealed that owner Ken Anderson, who controls 94.5 per cent of the company shares, “is imminently going to conclude a sale of his interests in the shares”.

But Anderson, who now owns almost 95% of Boltons shares, is struggling to finance the club and has said he is doing his “utmost” to sell.

Judge Clive Jones, sitting at the Insolvency and Companies Court in at the High Court commented: “I have seen there were problems in the news.”

Players and staff received Februarys wages late and their league game against Millwall on 9 March was only cleared to go ahead three days before because of concerns over sufficient stewarding.

The players were paid their February salaries late and the training ground was closed for a day earlier this month, while there was doubt over a recent game against Millwall going ahead due to concerns over policing costs.

Bolton are also facing relegation to League One. They are 23rd in the Championship and eight points from safety with eight fixtures remaining this season.

She asked for a 14-day adjournment to give the club time to complete a sale and settle their debts. Judge Clive Jones, sitting in the insolvency and companies court in London, adjourned the case for a fortnight.

THE future of Bolton Wanderers Football Club will potentially be decided in the High Court today as a £1million-plus winding-up petition from HMRC is heard for the first time.

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Forest Green confirm legal action against Bolton Wanderers

The collapse of a takeover by the Football Ventures consortium on Friday has placed the club into a perilous position, particularly if Revenue and Customs aggressively seek liquidation, rather than administration.

Liquidation would see the company effectively closed and contracts cancelled, whereas administration would incur a 12-point penalty from the EFL – effectively ensuring relegation to League One – but is a more costly process and would need to be funded.

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