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Bolton Wanderers: Championship club handed extension to avoid winding-up order

Ben Burrows
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Bolton Wanderers have been given two weeks to settle their debts and avoid a winding-up order, a High Court hearing in London has ruled.

The Sky Bet Championship club has won a reprieve with the hearing now adjourned until April 3.

Bolton, issued with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue & Customs in February over an unpaid tax bill for £1.2million, faced administration or liquidation, but now have two weeks to find a buyer.

Barrister Hilary Stonefrost, representing Bolton, told the court the club have a potential buyer lined up who "already owns a major stake in a high-level football club".

She asked for a 14-day adjournment to give the club time to complete a sale and settle its debts.

Judge Clive Jones, sitting in the Insolvency and Companies Court in London, adjourned the case until April 3.

It is the sixth time in 16 months that Bolton have defended a winding-up petition due to unpaid tax and VAT. They won a similar stay of execution in the High Court three years ago to allow previous owner Sports Shield BWFC to complete a last-minute takeover.

Current owner Ken Anderson bought a stake in the club during that buy-out and took majority control in 2017 after Sports Shield went into liquidation.

Bolton confirmed on Tuesday night that a potential buyer had pulled out of talks, but that there were still several other interested parties.

Bolton have endured a tumultuous time of late. The players were paid their February salaries late and there was doubt over a recent game with Millwall going ahead due to concerns over being able to pay policing costs.

Futhermore, League Two side Forest Green have confirmed they have started legal proceedings against Wanderers over the failed transfer of striker Christian Doidge.

Bolton lie second bottom of the Championship table, eight points from safety with eight games to go.