Bolton MPs' letter to the English Football League

"Dear Mr Harvey,

We are writing as the three Members of Parliament representing Bolton and the leader of Bolton Council to raise our deep concern about the situation at Bolton Wanderers Football Club.

Bolton Wanderers was a founder member of the English Football League (EFL) and has been an integral part of football in this country for many years.

The club has experienced good times and bad times throughout its history both on and off the pitch yet the Wanderers continue to have a strong fan base that cares deeply for the club. This fan base also significantly boosts our local economy via ticket revenues, merchandising, sponsorship and other commercial offerings. Yet, never in its 145 year history has its whole existence been in as much doubt as it is today.

You will be fully aware of all of the issues with the current management of the club’s finances under the ownership of Ken Anderson. While there are arguments about whether Mr Anderson should have been allowed to take over the club in the first place, no one can argue that the current situation is in the best interests of the club and the community that supports it.

We believe that paying staff (many of whom are dependent on the monthly salary), paying suppliers (many of whom are small businesses) and paying public organisations who have provided a service or are owed taxes should be the top priority for a responsible, community centred football club.

Despite this, the EFL have watched the club fail to meet its obligations and many fans are expressing their continued frustration and anger at how this has been allowed to happen.

News reports in recent weeks appear to suggest that a deal was on the table and it was only a matter of formalities before Bolton Wanderers could move onto its next chapter with a hope that financial woes are behind it.

This deal now seems to be slipping away. The most recent news stories report that players and staff are not being paid, the training ground is being shut down and mounting winding up orders and debts at the club’s door provide saddening reading for Bolton fans.

We call on the EFL to investigate the club’s finances to bring about full transparency as to whether the club’s money is being spent responsibly in line with the ethos most expect from a club that prides itself on being a family friendly, community club.

We would appreciate a full response to the concerns raised and what action the EFL plan to take.

Yours sincerely,

Sir David Crausby MP (Bolton North East), Chris Green MP (Bolton West), Yasmin Qureshi MP (Bolton South East) and Cllr Linda Thomas (Leader of Bolton Council)."