OWNER SEARCH KEY FOR US, SAYS LENNON
IT’S a race against time to safeguard Bolton’s future, according to boss Neil Lennon, as a search for a new owner continues.
The Trotters announced last April that, due to debts of more than £170m, the club was seeking new investment.
But things have now become more complicated after it was revealed that long-time chairman Phil Gartside is seriously ill.
Trevor Birch, who has been involved in takeovers at Chelsea and Leeds, has been appointed as an advisor should any approaches for the club be received.
And the situation has escalated to such an extent that Lennon admits there is no money in the coffers to secure a single loan deal.
“Trevor’s come in and he’s here to accelerate the process of looking for potential new owners and time is of the essence now,” said Lennon.“Otherwise we could be facing the scenario, maybe down the line, of administration.
“I’ve been told there’s no money left to even bring in loan players so the club needs an injection.
“It needs someone who’s going to come in and safeguard its future, not just on the field but off it.”
It is a sorry end to Gartside’s leadership of Bolton, with the club having enjoyed 11 years in the Premier League under his control – but relegation to the Championship back in 2012 came with serious financial implications.
Lennon, however, is hopeful that Gartside’s health will return.
“It’s a huge blow not only professionally for me but also personally because Phil has been my boss but he’s also been a very good friend,” he added.
“We’re concerned about him and we’re hoping that he has a speedy recovery – he said he was feeling good, which is a great sign.”
CONCERN: Neil Lennon