Start of the football season in jeopardy: EFL tell Bolton and Bury they will call off their opening games if they can’t prove they can pay their debts by 5pm TODAY
- Bolton are currently in disarray after being relegated from the Championship
- The League One club are in administration and they have only seven players
- Oldham have recently cancelled their pre-season friendly against Bolton
- Bury have recently been threatened with expulsion from the Football League
A row over payments to departed players is holding up Bolton’s takeover – and plunging the club’s future into further doubt.
The League One outfit has been given a deadline of 5pm on Monday by the EFL to fix the mess or face the suspension of their first fixture of the season at Wycombe Wanderers this weekend.
Sportsmail understands that prospective new owners Football Ventures have agreed to pay players still contracted with the club all their outstanding wages when the deal goes through.
Bolton’s future has been plunged into further doubt and opening match could be suspended
However, those who have subsequently left Bolton have been offered 20 per cent of outstanding money now, with the remainder to come over the next two years.
Around five months’ wages are outstanding in some cases.
It can also be revealed that the PFA are recommending that the players take the deal, given that if Bolton are liquidated they are likely to get nothing.
Only seven players remain contracted to the League One club, who have been plunged into administration.
Oldham have recently cancelled their pre-season friendly against Bolton due to fears their opponents can’t field a competitive team.
The match was due to be played on July 27 but Oldham pulled the plug.
League One side Bury could also face expulsion from the English Football League
The Latics wanted assurances from Bolton that they could put out a team but after a request to delay a decision by 48 hours, Oldham moved quickly and played Stockport County instead.
Bury, on the other hand, have recently been threatened with expulsion from the Football League after failing to convince the EFL they can pay their outstanding debts to football creditors.
The Shakers have already been punished with a 12-point deduction going into the new League One season.
Now their predicament has become more grave after it was revealed owner Steve Dale has failed to supply information to EFL officials after a company voluntary agreement was passed last week.
The Shakers may also have their fixtures suspended with the EFL seeking financial assurances
A statement from the EFL read: ‘Following extensive discussions with the Administrators of Bolton Wanderers, the ownership at Bury and the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) over the course of the weekend some progress has been achieved in regard to the respective challenges they currently face.
‘However, concerns do remain and both Clubs are required to provide confirmation to the League’s satisfaction that they can meet all outstanding commitments.
‘To give both Clubs the maximum opportunity to comply with the request, a deadline of 5pm on Monday 29 July has been set for them to provide the EFL with the necessary evidence.
‘The 5pm cut-off point replaces the noon deadline issued to Bury, which was confirmed on Friday evening.
‘If the information is not received, the EFL Board is likely to suspend the opening day fixtures against Wycombe Wanderers (Bolton Wanderers) and MK Dons (Bury) under the provision of EFL Regulation 28.2.
‘The EFL will continue to offer its full assistance and support to both Clubs in order to achieve the objective of securing long-term futures for them but with the season now a matter of days away there is no other option but for all outstanding matters to be brought to a conclusion.’