Laurence Bassini: Former Watford owner agrees deal to buy Bolton Wanderers

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Laurence Bassini: Former Watford owner agrees deal to buy Bolton Wanderers
Some Bolton Wanderers fans have protested against Ken Anderson’s ownership of the club

Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini has agreed a deal to buy Bolton Wanderers subject to English Football League approval, the club have said.

The agreement will also give Bassini full control of the hotel at the University of Bolton Stadium.

“Significant funds” will be made available to pay outstanding wages and long-term creditors, a statement said.

In 2013, Bassini was given a three-year ban from being involved in a position of authority with any EFL club.

Wanderers, whose players have still not been paid their March wages, could be relegated to League One on Friday.

Bassini took over at Vicarage Road in 2011, but his time with the Hornets was short-lived, as he sold to the Pozzo family a year later before submitting a formal offer to buy Portsmouth.

His proposed takeover of Bolton comes as full-time playing and non-playing staff have still not been paid their wages for March, almost three weeks after they were due.

It is the second month in a row that wages have been paid late, while the playing staff applied to the Professional Footballers’ Association for help.

The club have endured a torrid season on and off the pitch and narrowly avoided administration in September before former owner Eddie Davies loaned the club £5m days before his death.

Bolton have twice appeared in the High Court over an unpaid tax bill, with the club being given an adjournment until 8 May in their latest appearance.

Wanderers said on Wednesday that “once completion has occurred, all the long terms debts to HMRC and suppliers will be settled”.

“I am very pleased to hand over ownership of this great club to Laurence, I wish him and all of our supporters the very best for the future,” said current chairman Ken Anderson.

More to follow.

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