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Bolton facing two games behind closed doors following safety ruling

The shock news comes a day before the club are due in the High Court, facing a winding-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs. Credit: PA

Bolton will have to play their next two league matches behind closed doors after the club's safety advisory group decided the Championship strugglers could not guarantee fans at the University of Bolton Stadium would be safe.

The safety group, which is comprised of representatives the local council, police and emergency services, informed the English Football League on Tuesday that it has placed a prohibition notice on the club under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975.

The shock news comes a day before the club are due in the High Court, facing a winding-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs for £1.2million in unpaid tax and other debts.

The club told the group it could not address its concerns until after the court hearing, which gave the safety experts little choice but to rule that all supporters will be prevented from entering the ground for the home games against Ipswich on Saturday, April 6, and Middlesbrough on Tuesday, April 9.

VAR will not be used in Championship play-off final say EFL

Video assistant referees will not be used in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final despite an estimated £180million windfall for the winners. Credit: PA

Video assistant referees will not be used in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final despite an estimated £180million windfall for the winners.

It is understood the decision has been taken because VAR has not been in use in league competition but goal-line technology will be used during the match at Wembley on May 27.

The technology has been deployed on a trial basis in some Carabao Cup games but it was not in operation during Sunday's Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley between Portsmouth and Sunderland.

Confirmation of the English Football League's stance comes after another weekend of controversy related to refereeing errors, most notably when Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta equalised against Cardiff on Sunday despite being offside.

The Premier League has already announced it will be using the system from next season, while the Football Association has said it will review its decision to only use it in the cup at current Premier League grounds at the end of this season's tournament.

The EFL has consistently said it is not yet ready to roll out VAR for league competition, as it does not have enough referees with the required training to operate the system and not all of its 72 clubs have enough camera positions to make it work.

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Bolton given two weeks to settle debts to avoid winding-up order

Bolton have been given two weeks to settle their debts and avoid a winding-up order, a High Court hearing in London has ruled. Credit: PA

Bolton have been given two weeks to settle their debts and avoid a winding-up order, a High Court hearing in London has ruled.

The Sky Bet Championship club has won a reprieve with the hearing adjourned until April 3.

Bolton, issued with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue & Customs in February over an unpaid tax bill for £1.2million, faced administration or liquidation, but now have two weeks to find a buyer.

Barrister Hilary Stonefrost, representing Bolton, told the court the club has a potential buyer lined up who "already owns a major stake in a high-level football club".

She asked for a 14-day adjournment to give the club time to complete a sale and settle its debts.

Judge Clive Jones, sitting in the Insolvency and Companies Court in London, adjourned the case until April 3.

Reading sack manager Paul Clement

Paul Clement has been sacked by Reading after less than nine months in charge, the Sky Bet Championship club have announced. Credit: PA

Paul Clement has been sacked by Reading after less than nine months in charge, the Sky Bet Championship club have announced.

The Royals are outside the relegation zone on goal difference after winning just four of their 20 league games this season.

"Reading Football Club can announce that Paul Clement has left his position as manager of the club with immediate effect," read a club statement.

"Clement was appointed towards the end of March and earned two victories and a final day draw in Cardiff which proved enough to secure the club its Championship status at the end of a challenging 2017/18 campaign.

"However, following five wins in the first 22 league and cup matches of 2018/19, owners Mr Yongge Dai and Ms Xiu Li Dai have made the difficult decision that the time is now right to make a change."