Bolton Wanderers takeover completed

Eddie Davies and Dean Holdsworth

Dean Holdsworth (r) will become a Bolton director, with former owner Eddie Davies becoming honorary president

The Sports Shield consortium has completed its £7.5m takeover of Championship club Bolton Wanderers.

Ex-Bolton striker Dean Holdsworth, who leads the group, will join the board of directors while former owner Eddie Davies will become honorary president.

A winding-up petition against Bolton was adjourned at the High Court on Monday to give Holdsworth’s group more time to complete the deal.

Bolton, who are £172.9m in debt, are currently bottom of the Championship.

Sports Shield and Inner Circle, owned by Ken Anderson, have taken control of Davies’ 94.5% controlling share following ratification by the Football League. Anderson will also become a director of the club.

In January, the court heard that the club owed £2.2m to HM Revenue & Customs, and they are next due in court on 21 March.

Bolton, who are also under a transfer embargo for breaking Financial Fair Play regulations, have sold their training ground and stadium car park to raise funds in recent months.

Neil Lennon’s side are 10 points adrift of safety with 10 matches remaining.

Reaction to the takeover

Dean Holdsworth: “We would like to thank the staff, fans and club sponsors for their continued support during what has been an incredibly difficult period for all involved.

“Securing the club’s future was of paramount importance.

“We very much hope that we can build on the continued support of a club steeped in history for many years to come.

“We will not give up the fight of maintaining our Championship status. We believe we have a group of excellent players to work with and we hope that today’s news will give everyone a lift, both on and off the pitch.”

Eddie Davies: “It has been an honour to have initially been on the board of directors and then majority shareholder of the club I have supported all of my life.

“From 11 years in the top flight and seeing us topple some of the Premier League’s greatest teams down the years, to two successful Uefa Cup campaigns, my memories will last a lifetime.

“Together we have had some great experiences and we should embrace our wonderful history.

“Recently, we have gone through what has been a challenging period both on and off the field, but we now hope that we can once again move our great football club forward.

“I of course wish Dean Holdsworth, Ken Anderson and the Sports Shield consortium all the very best and thank the supporters for their loyalty and continued backing of the club.”

Lawrie Wilson celebrates a goal<!–

Bolton came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Ipswich on Tuesday, but are 10 points from safety with 10 games to play

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