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Bolton Wanderers on the brink of liquidation as sale collapses

Bolton Wanderers have been given until 5pm on Tuesday to come up with a rescue plan. Credit: PA

A deal to sell Bolton Wanderers has collapsed and, unless a new one can be struck, the "process of closing down the company will commence on Wednesday", the club's administrators have revealed.

The club had been given until 5pm on Tuesday to find a buyer or provide compelling reasons for an extension or it will be kicked out of the league.

However, administrator Paul Appleton has revealed a deal collapsed on Saturday morning and despite "tentative dialogue" about salvaging it he said if there is no breakthrough "the process of closing down the company will commence on Wednesday".

"In just over 24 hours, the club will have its membership of the EFL revoked," said Appleton in a statement.

"Over and above that, the club is currently not in a position to carry on trading and, as such, the process of closing down the company will commence on Wednesday."

The plight of Bolton is mirrored by Bury FC, which has also been granted extra time until Tuesday evening to secure its future.

Bolton's ground holds almost 29,000 - just 4,500 were there on Saturday. Credit: PA

League One Bolton have been forced to field sides made up largely of youth team players as the majority of their professionals - unpaid for months - have left.

The side is win-less so far this campaign, conceding five goals in two leagues and a league cup tie.

On Saturday, they were thumped 5-0 at home to Ipswich Town in front of under 5,500 fans, their lowest attendance in 22 years.

Appleton's statement on the collapse of the sale continued: "This will ultimately lead to its liquidation, the expulsion of the club from the EFL and the inevitable loss of over 150 jobs.

"More than that, it will devastate a community for whom the football club is a beacon of hope and expectation.

"I reiterate,unless there is a change of position from any of the parties involved, the process of closing down the club and ultimately placing Bolton Wanderers into liquidation will begin this week."

"My team have spent the last 48 hours working around the clock, striving to get a deal back on track and trying to convince the parties still in conflict that the very fate of Bolton Wanderers depends on them finding a compromise."

Phil Parkinson quit as Bolton manager last week. Credit: PA

Bolton was a founder member of the Football League in 1888 and has won the FA Cup four times.

While Appleton stressed there was no point in apportioning blame it appears the fault of not completing a sale to the Football Ventures consortium is being laid at the door of current owner Ken Anderson.

"At 5pm on Friday August 23, the completion of the sale of the football club and the hotel had been agreed by all parties and undertakings had been issued by all solicitors except those of Ken Anderson," he said.

"Devastatingly, on Saturday morning that deal collapsed. At this stage, there seems little point in apportioning blame because that makes no difference to the staff, players, management, supporters and the community who have once more seen their club taken back to the brink.