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IberCup postponed over uncertainty at Bolton Wanderers

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Uncertainty over the financial future of Bolton Wanderers had let to the postponement of one of the world’s largest youth tournaments this summer.

The UniBol, Whites Hotel and academy was due to welcome hundreds of junior footballers from big footballing names such as Paris St Germain and Real Madrid in May for a competition celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Many local teams were also due to get involved – but it is understood that organisers have informed Wanderers they intend to cancel this year’s event and provisionally move it forward to 2020.

Listed by Ken Anderson as one of his 'great achievements' as owner and chairman, hundreds of footballers from close to 200 teams were due to stay at the hotel, providing a boost for the local economy and injecting a new revenue stream into the club over the quiet summer months.

“It’s something new for us, hosting a tournament,” said James Ward, head of football provision at the club’s International Football Programme, in December.

“We’re probably talking 200 teams in total, so it does take some organising but I think it will give Bolton Wanderers some big kudos. It’s wonderful for the club.

“It’s a global tournament but this is the first time anyone has brought it to this country so we’re really determined to make a good go of it.”

The lack of assurances caused by Anderson’s prolonged attempts to sell the club have forced organisers to shelve plans, for now, but the club is expecting to retain its hosting rights for the following year.

Anderson has said he hopes to complete the sale of his majority stake by the end of the week and a deal with Parminder Basran and Sharron Brittan’s consortium was close to being finalised yesterday.

The family of former owner Eddie Davies could also choose to exercise their right to take over his shares, as per the loan agreement made by the former Farnworth Grammar School pupil when he loaned £5million to Anderson’s company, Inner Circle Investments, four days before his death last September.

Wanderers have been contacted for comment.

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