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Bolton Game in Doubt After Safety Advisory Group Issue Prohibition Notice
Tuesday, 2nd Apr 2019 15:09

Town’s game at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday and the Trotters’ subsequent home fixture with Middlesbrough next Tuesday are in doubt after the Safety Advisory Group (SAG), who are responsible for issuing the general safety certificate at the University of Bolton Stadium, said the club cannot "demonstrate that the stadium can deliver the matchday operation to the standard required".

An EFL statement reads: “The EFL has today been informed that the Safety Advisory Group (SAG), responsible for issuing the general safety certificate at Bolton Wanderers, has placed a prohibition notice on the club under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975.

“As a result, all supporters will be prevented from entering the University of Bolton Stadium until the club can demonstrate that the stadium can deliver the matchday operation to the standard required.

“Prior to the meeting, called by the SAG, the club confirmed it would be unable to commit to meet the obligations of its safety certificate until after a scheduled appearance at the High Court tomorrow (3rd April).

“SAG members concluded this would be a challenging timeframe to put an adequate plan in place to protect the safety of fans during upcoming home fixtures against Ipswich Town on Saturday 6th April and Middlesbrough on Tuesday 9th April.

“The EFL is currently engaged with the club in regard to how they intend to meet their fixture obligations.

“SAG is a multi-agency panel which includes Bolton Council, Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, North West Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance.”

An EFL spokesman said: “Whilst disappointed, the EFL understands the rationale for the position taken by the SAG at this time.

“However, we still hope the fixtures will take place as planned. We will work with the club and offer them any practical assistance that is available to us in an attempt to find a successful and timely resolution to the issue.”

If not, Saturday's game and the Middlesbrough fixture would almost certainly be postponed. We understand it's very unlikely that matches would be staged at an empty stadium.

Town have sold more than 1,000 seats for the game with tickets reduced to £5 across the board.

As reported yesterday, Bolton's players are refusing to train for 48 hours wages having been unpaid on Friday, the second month running when they haven't been paid on time. March's salaries - both players and off-field staff - remain unpaid and matchday staff are reported to have threatened to strike at Saturday’s game.

On March 20th, Wanderers, 23rd in the Championship, eight points ahead of the Blues, were given two weeks to settle their debts and avoid a winding-up order relating to a tax bill of £1.2 million at the High Court with the hearing adjourned until April 3rd, this Wednesday.

A takeover plan had collapsed prior to the hearing where owner Ken Anderson revealed a new prospective buyer - former Watford owner Laurence Bassini - had emerged.

Speaking last Wednesday Anderson said the deal could go through "within 48 hours" and that the new owners would pay the March salaries on Friday. However, the deal wasn't completed within that period.

Now a new company, Gaspard Holdings Ltd, has announced it is on the verge of taking control of the club.

Anderson, who tried to broker a deal for the sale of Town back in 2007 at the time of the Marcus Evans takeover, has issued a lengthy statement on the current situation and criticising the players for their 'strike' on the official Wanderers website.

Photo: Action Images

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wkj added 15:11 - Apr 2
Clegg out

itfchorry added 15:23 - Apr 2
Milne Out

lightingblue added 15:25 - Apr 2
If Bolton go in administration, they get deducted 10 points and we will still be bottom

CanadianBlue added 15:29 - Apr 2
lightingblue - No, we'd be 23rd. We're on 24, they're currently on 32.

If they can't meet fixture obligations, would that mean the fixtures are forfeited and it's an automatic 3 points?

Skip73 added 15:30 - Apr 2
Just goes to show the terrible state that football is in when a Championship club can face a winding up order over a sum equal to 2 1/2 weeks of Alexis Sanchez' wages. Sky Sports have totally ruined football. Sad times indeed.

yocal_lad added 15:31 - Apr 2
People slate ME but we pay all the staff on time and we never have any issues like this.

At least our owner is a Town fan!

Shambles for a club in the top 40 teams in the UK to be like this.

Harry_Palmer added 15:31 - Apr 2
Maths not your strong point then Lightingblue?

essextractorboy93 added 15:40 - Apr 2
Does this mean the game would go ahead behind closed doors or the game would be called off? I read somewhere that EFL rules do not allow games to take place behind closed doors?

Very sad situation for Bolton, I feel for their fans and the staff at the club.

MrTown added 15:42 - Apr 2
Feel for any fan that has bought a ticket, I know refunds are likely. But 8 hour round trip, bottom of the league, as of last week we’d sold over 1,000, and yet another idiot of an owner causes problems.

ElderGrizzly added 15:43 - Apr 2
Guardian and Bolton local paper are saying it will be behind closed doors

tetchris added 15:51 - Apr 2
Points get deducted next season not this season so they start next season in league one or if they stay in championship, on minus 12 points.

MrTown added 15:52 - Apr 2
Watson said ITFC received a call from EFL at 1pm today, no mention of playing behind closed doors.

lightingblue added 16:02 - Apr 2
Canadianblue. Thanks for that.

hoppy added 16:16 - Apr 2
But MrTown... you say "Feel for any fan that has bought a ticket, I know refunds are likely. But 8 hour round trip..."

Refund would only be for the £5 match ticket... not pre-booked travel or hotels etc. They'd be out of pocket for those, even if it's called off before travelling.

Bluearmy_81 added 16:49 - Apr 2
Evans isn't a Town fan, he's a Chelsea fan! Wake up FFS. He's killing the club make no mistake.

carlo88 added 16:52 - Apr 2
Only way we're going to get three points.

BlueandTruesince82 added 17:05 - Apr 2
Bolton news says a buyer is now in place... been saying jt for weeks but dont want anyone getting their hopes up for the 3 points

Kirbmeister added 17:23 - Apr 2
Can’t they call off the rest of town’s games between now and the end of the season?

pimballwizard added 17:29 - Apr 2
University of Bolton ??

Oxymoron innit ???

runningout added 17:34 - Apr 2
lot or football club owners had not been fans of the club they bought..

braveblue added 17:49 - Apr 2
Vocal lad. We had a winding up petition served on us a couple years ago. From HMRC. Milne said it was a local supplier and a misunderstanding. That was when we knew he had no idea what was going on. And how cash strapped Evans has us.

deano85 added 19:09 - Apr 2
Bolton in top 40 english teams???
They currently sit 43rd...

I get your point though, its a stupid situation

MickMillsTash added 19:13 - Apr 2
Shambolic - It's Pretty obvious that this season should be called off- abanonded- no relegation - certainly no Promotion- and we all start again in August in the Championship having proved that we compete for the next 9 months.

The University of Bolton is one, of few, where the average wage of graduates is less than that of non graduates

SuttonColdfieldBlue added 19:41 - Apr 2
Do I get my fiver back??

Felstow1978 added 19:58 - Apr 2
Does the University of Bolton offer degree courses in subjects such as clog making and tripe cuisine? Or isn't it this sophisticated?

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