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Proposed sale of troubled Bolton Wanderers temporarily suspended

Proposed sale of Bolton temporarily suspended
© Reuters
Laurence Bassini awarded court order.

The proposed sale of Bolton to Football Ventures has been temporarily suspended, the club's joint administrator has announced.

Laurence Bassini, whose attempt to buy the League One club collapsed in May, has been awarded a court order preventing the sale of parent company Burnden Leisure Limited.

Administrators say they had been "on the brink" of concluding the sale when the order was issued and are now attempting to overturn the decision.

In a strongly-worded statement, they have accused Bassini of actions that threaten the existence of the club.

Paul Appleton, speaking on behalf of administrators David Rubin and Partners, said in a statement issued via the club: "It is with a combination of outrage and disgust that I have to inform Bolton Wanderers fans that the deal to sell the club to Football Ventures has been temporarily suspended in the last hour.

"Late this afternoon, we were informed by lawyers acting for Laurence Bassini that he had been awarded a court order attempting to prevent the sale of Burnden Leisure Limited, part of an action against a company owned by Ken Anderson.

"It beggars belief that Mr Bassini, a man who publicly professed to care passionately for the club, has now, through his actions, threatened its very existence.

"Despite a long and hugely complex process of negotiation, we were finally on the brink of completion this afternoon when Bassini's order was served.

"Our lawyers are now in conversation with Counsel in a bid to overturn the order immediately."

Former Watford owner Bassini has alleged breach of contract by Anderson, the Wanderers chairman with whom he claimed to have reached an agreement prior to the club going into administration in May.

The administration process led to the identification of the Football Ventures consortium, led by Sharon Brittan and Parminder Basran, as the preferred bidder.

Bassini, however, has not given up on his bid to take control.

Bassini told the Jewish Telegraph: "My only desire all along has been to help Bolton. Now the truth can come out. I will be at the match on Saturday against Coventry City."

Bolton, who were relegated from the Championship last season, began their League One campaign last weekend with a 12-point deduction as punishment for going into administration.

The situation has left them with a vastly depleted squad and they were beaten 2-0 at Wycombe on Saturday.

A statement from the EFL read: "We are aware of the terms of an order granted earlier today in the High Court in Manchester in respect of Bolton Wanderers.

"The League is not a party to the proceedings and we are currently liaising with the administrators of the club to understand the full extent of any implications to the proposed transfer of assets.

"We are extremely frustrated by this late development with the deal so close to completion, and our focus must remain firmly on ensuring the long-term future of the football club."

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