Bolton pay off debt to HM Revenue and Customs

17 March 2016 09:53

Bolton have settled an outstanding debt with HM Revenue and Customs that threatened one of the Football League founder clubs' very existence.

Sky Bet Championship side Wanderers, who were formed 142 years ago, were served a winding-up petition by the tax authority for a £2.2million unpaid bill in November and they needed three adjournments from a High Court judge to stave off liquidation.

The most recent of those came 10 days ago when they were given a final stay of execution to complete a sale to a consortium fronted by former striker Dean Holdsworth - a deal which came to fruition only last week.

Holdsworth's group have injected £7.5million to see the club through until the end of the season and, after paying what they owed to HMRC on Thursday, Bolton expect the winding-up petition to be lifted on Monday.

A statement read: "Bolton Wanderers can announce that the club has today, Thursday 17 March, settled all overdue payments with HMRC.

"As a result Bolton Wanderers now expects the winding-up petition against the club to be lifted in the High Court on Monday. The club would like to thank all supporters and staff for their continued backing and effort during what has been a challenging period."

The new owners' next task is to find a successor for boss Neil Lennon, whom they parted ways with on Tuesday just five days after completing their takeover from long-time owner Eddie Davies.

Interim manager Jimmy Phillips expects to be in charge for the remainder of the campaign and he faces a huge task to preserve their Championship status as the Trotters are 11 points from safety with nine games to go.

It does not appear that Holdsworth is in a rush to name a new permanent boss, though, and Phillips revealed he has been told to prepare as if he will take charge until the campaign's conclusion.

Speaking at his first press conference on Thursday morning, Phillips said: "Dean wants me to take it until the end of the season. If it changes between now and then so be it."

Southend manager Phil Brown has long been touted to be Holdsworth's first choice, although settling compensation with the League One outfit is a stumbling block given the former Wanderers player, assistant manager and caretaker boss only penned a new contract in the summer.

For now Phillips will inherit some of the issues that Lennon experienced at the helm, with Jay Spearing unlikely to play again this term because one more league appearance would trigger a clause in his contract that would see them have to pay Liverpool a bonus.

Source: PA