“It is now thought financial backing for the bid has not come from an outside party, as previously speculated, but is completely secured by assets owned by the company’s partners.”
The words came from the Bolton News on 19th November 2015 as it attempted to explain the funding from Sports Shield Investments, the outfit fronted by Dean Holdsworth, which is attempting to buy Bolton Wanderers. One wonders what those assets are. Perhaps they mean Linsey Dawn McKenzie’s chest.
(For those who don’t remember, McKenzie was the spectacularly endowed porn starlet who Deano had a fling with some years back, which led to wife Samantha declaring that the family Rottweiller was better looking.)
Phil Gartside will take no part in negotiations. The town’s newspaper also reported the day before that the chairman was “seriously ill” (their quotes) and that he “has been in poor health for a number of weeks.” We wish Mr Gartside a full recovery and drink to his well being. Which is presumably what he was doing when seen in Fanny’s pub on Markland Hill, near the Macron Stadium a fortnight ago.
Trevor Birch, an expert in dealing with basket-case clubs (Chelsea, Portsmouth, Leeds, Southampton amongst others) has been appointed to oversee any purchase and to prevent a slide into administration and the accompanying twelve point deduction.
That threat might seem odd, given that the bulk of the near £200 million debt is owed to Moonshift Investments, Eddie Davies’s company, but there are other parties who want their money back. One of them is London based Nucleus Commercial Finance, who lent £5 million in August at an eye watering 16% interest rate, secured against part of the stadium. Vice chairman Brett Warburton had to stump up for the wage bill in June and July, so if the price of a toastie loaf goes skyward around Christmas time you know who to blame.
Three years after relegation, staff costs are still the problem, running at £30.6 million including social security and pensions, but that’s what you get for paying the likes of David Wheater £27k a week. Such figures mean that any buyer has to deal with an annual loss of around £10 million, as well as a purchase price of three times that.
Incidental costs are not under control either. Before each home game, the squad stays at Kilhey Court Hotel. Transport, accomodation and medical expenses mean that each visit is £8.5k a pop – not an issue for a thriving Premier League team, but something that can be avoided for one lower down looking to trim the fat.
Those who have read this site over the past few years already know of the problems. Manny Road is the only publication which has consistently questioned the way that the club was run.
The Murky Financial World of Bolton Wanderers was originally published just after relegation, when everything was claimed to be tickety-boo. Bolton Wanderers – And How they Wasted £40 million showed how the disastrous player trading record contributed to the losses.
Then there are the questionable transfer deals. Not many fans have sympathy with football agents, but it’s worth remembering that when Tony McGill lost his case against Bolton on a technicality, the judge poured scorn on almost everone who gave evidence on behalf of the club. It’s entirely possible that the Whites are seen as tainted and that agents would rather take their players elsewhere. If that sounds fanciful, then ask yourself when was the last time a permanent signing made a major difference at the Macron.
History will hopefully remember the good parts of Eddie Davies’s tenure as owner. Four top eight Premier League finishes, trips to Europe, Jay Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff, Ferando Hierro and Ivan Campo gracing the turf. But the latter part has been an unmitigated disaster. Regime change is urgently needed. We hope and wait.
– Richard McCormick