(Reuters) – English third-tier club Bolton Wanderers, winners of the first-ever FA Cup final to be held at Wembley and who were under threat of expulsion from the Football League, have been sold, the club’s administrators said in a statement on Wednesday.
The new owners are Football Ventures (Whites) Limited, joint administrator Paul Appleton said in a statement on the club’s official website, a day after Bolton were given two weeks to find a new owner or be thrown out of the league.
“This has been one of the most complicated administrations I’ve been involved with but I’m delighted to say we have finally reached a satisfactory conclusion with the sale to Football Ventures,” Appleton said.
“At times, some of the hurdles appeared insurmountable and the frustration felt has been immense, not least by the supporters who have had to endure too many weeks of uncertainty.”
The announcement came a day after Bury, another third tier North West club with a long and illustrious tradition, were expelled from the league after failing to provide guarantees about their finances.
Bolton, four times FA Cup winners, were a Premier League club just seven years ago and played in the UEFA Cup as recently as 2008 with a team featuring several well-known internationals.
They took part in the first FA Cup final to be staged at Wembley in 1923, beating West Ham United 2-0 in a match which became famous when crowds surged onto the pitch and were cleared off the field by a policeman on a white horse.
Founder members of the Football League in 1888, Bolton, who have been in administration since May, started the season with a 12-point deduction and manager Phil Parkinson and his assistant Steve Parkin resigned last week.
They have taken one point from their first four games and already look to be in danger of relegation.
“We are excited to begin restoring this magnificent football club to its rightful position, securing its future for the fans, the loyal club staff, and the players,” said Football Ventures (Whites) in a statement.
The English Football League welcomed the sale and said that “the club is no longer in administration”.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru and Brian Homewood in Zurich; Editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)