THE Bolton Wanderers Supporters Trust has ruled out the prospect of getting involved in the ongoing share battle between co-owners Dean Holdsworth and Ken Anderson.
It is understood Anderson is looking to buy up Holdsworth’s 50 per cent share in an effort to tidy up the financial issues at the Macron Stadium.
Wanderers denied reports they were in talks with a Saudi Arabian group on Wednesday night but have left the door open for investment in the future.
Asked by The Bolton News if the Trust was in a position to make an offer for a shareholding in the club at the present time, chairman Ian Bridge confirmed it was not currently possible to do so.
“We have asked Mr Anderson on several occasions for the opportunity to carry out a level of due diligence to allow potential funding initiatives to be explored,” he said. “Without this information, we would be unable to proceed further.
“As a Community Benefit Society, we can only invest under the compliance rules given to us by the FCA. That involves undertaking due diligence, publishing an information memorandum, and then making a share offer to members. Without this initial diligence, we can't invest.”
The BWFCST has continued to press Anderson and Holdsworth on when overdue financial accounts for 2015 will be filed at Companies House – something sources at the Macron insist would be more straightforward should the share purchase go through.
Enforcement action has already begun against the two named directors and could eventually result in criminal charges.
Financial problems which pushed the club to the verge of liquidation earlier this year are still fresh in the memory at the Macron Stadium and a repeat must be avoided at all costs, says Mr Bridge.
“We continue to ask for clarification from Mr Anderson on the filing of the accounts, as the level of qualification of these accounts would provide a further level of information on the financial position of the club and give more transparency on issues,” he told us.
“We understand that substantial levels of debt exist, with charges being held over existing assets. We are also aware that there is a considerable level of ongoing funding required to service monthly operational costs, including the high interest loan taken out to fund the acquisition of the club in February.
“Assurances of the initial and ongoing availability of funding were given publicly by Mr Anderson shortly after the transfer of ownership. Indeed, such assurances were required by the Football League in order to obtain their sanctioning of the takeover. We trust that Mr Anderson and Mr Holdsworth are dealing with this situation in order to ensure that the events experienced earlier this year do not reoccur.
“We sincerely hope that administration is not on the cards and that Mr Anderson and Mr Holdsworth are able to deal with matters to ensure this doesn't happen. But in such a situation, the Supporters' Trust is now established to become involved in whichever way possible.
"In Administration the floating charge holders get the option to control the appointment of administrator and Supporters' Trust will be given a 21 day priority window to assess the viability of leading a rescue."