(Reuters) – Bolton Wanderers and Bury’s opening League One (third-tier) fixtures could be suspended if they do not furnish evidence of their financial viability by 1600 GMT on Monday, the English Football League (EFL) has said.
Bolton, who were relegated from the second-tier Championship last season, have been in administration since May while promoted Bury must provide the EFL with a viable plan to settle their debts after entering an “insolvency event”.
Both Bolton and Bury will start the season with a 12-point deduction and the EFL said they had concerns over whether the two clubs could meet their “outstanding commitments”.
The new League One season kicks off on Saturday with Bolton playing away at Wycombe Wanderers while Bury are set to host Milton Keynes Dons.
“Following extensive discussions with the administrators of Bolton Wanderers, the ownership at Bury and the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA)… some progress has been achieved in regard to the respective challenges they currently face,” the EFL said in a statement https://www.efl.com/news/2019/july/efl-statement-bolton-wanderers-and-bury-fc.
“To give both clubs the maximum opportunity to comply with the request, a deadline of 5pm on Monday 29 July has been set for them to provide the EFL with the necessary evidence.
“If the information is not received, the EFL Board is likely to suspend the opening day fixtures against Wycombe Wanderers (Bolton Wanderers) and MK Dons (Bury) under the provision of EFL Regulation 28.2.”
The EFL also said they would provide “full assistance” to ensure both clubs achieve long-term stability.
Bolton had a league match against Brentford cancelled at the end of last season after the club’s players decided to boycott the remaining league fixtures over unpaid wages.
The club was also forced to cancel three pre-season friendly matches against Preston North End, Oldham Athletic and Chester this month.
Founder members of the Football League in 1888, Bolton won the FA Cup three times, in the 1920s and in 1958, but have struggled in recent years after relegation from the Premier League in 2012.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)