Trevor Birch updates on the ongoing process at Bolton Wanderers
Trevor Birch, recently appointed as an advisor to the board and owner of Bolton Wanderers, updates on the current progress of his role at the club.
bwfc.co.uk: In buying the club, what would a new potential owner actually be getting? Who would own the stadium, training ground and academy?
TB: They would be buying everything; lock stock and barrel. The new owner would own all of the Burnden Leisure assets within the group, including stadium, training ground, academy and hotel.
bwfc.co.uk: What would happen to the money owed to Eddie Davies and any money owed to the bank - the debt?
TB: Eddie will be writing off his loans that currently sit in the accounts. He’s effectively gifting the club approximately £185million. There is no bank debt, other than a small loan on the hotel. The club has been financed by Eddie’s loan contributions.
bwfc.co.uk: How much is the club likely to be sold for?
TB: I wouldn't want to compromise the current negotiations, but Eddie is making it very attractive for an interested party to buy the club. There will also be some change of control payments to other parties that the new owners need to honour.
bwfc.co.uk: How much money has Eddie Davies put into the club during his time as owner?
TB: Since he bought the club he has invested a significant amount of money. In the summer, the interest and some other amounts that were owed to Eddie were waived. The loans can now be written-off or gifted to club under the terms of any sale. I have to say, I’ve heard people talk of the money Eddie has taken from the club in return for his investment, but even taking into account interest received on his loans in the early years Eddie’s net ‘loss’ is approaching £175million. A magnificent commitment as far as I’m concerned.
bwfc.co.uk: Will Eddie Davies have any involvement with the club after a potential takeover?
TB: In all likelihood, no, other than probably being given the title of President in recognition of the investment he has made in Bolton Wanderers over the years.
bwfc.co.uk: What will happen to Phil Gartside and the current board members after a takeover? Does that depend on who takes over?
TB: It very much depends on which party is successful in concluding a sale. Each group has a different profile with some having members with football experience and some not.
bwfc.co.uk: Is Neil Lennon likely to remain in charge of the first team and, if so, are funds likely to be made immediately available?
TB: Again, it’s very difficult to say as each interested group will have their own plans for the future. What I will say is that none of them have so far indicated that they would want an immediate change in management.
bwfc.co.uk: How does this process compare to what you have previously experienced at other clubs?
TB: Each club has had a its own unique set of circumstances but one common theme is that during these kinds of processes speculation and rumour are rife, some of which are true but a lot of which isn’t. As a football club, Bolton Wanderers has a fantastic pedigree and has everything in place for any purchaser wanting to buy a club with Premier League infrastructure and huge potential. We are talking to a number of interested parties, but nobody has yet got exclusivity and the door is certainly still open.
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