(Reuters) – Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini has agreed a deal to buy Bolton Wanderers subject to English Football League (EFL) approval, the English Championship (second-tier) club announced on Wednesday.
British media reported that Bassini paid a nominal amount to Ken Anderson to gain full control of the parent company Burnden Leisure Limited but the British businessman has vowed to pay all outstanding debts, including player and coaching staff wages.
“We are sure supporters will be very pleased to understand that as part of the transaction, all of the existing loans to the club will be settled in full and the associated charges removed, meaning the business will be debt free for the first time in many years,” Bolton said in a statement.
Wanderers, whose players have gone on strike multiple times over unpaid wages this season, could be relegated to League One when they face Aston Villa on Friday as they sit 23rd in the Championship standings.
The club said that once the deal is ratified by the EFL, “all the long terms debts to British tax authorities (HM Revenue and Customs) 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,” Anderson said.
A founder member of the Football League in 1888, and four-times FA Cup winners, Bolton finished sixth in the Premier League in 2005 and qualified for European competition before being relegated in 2012.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)