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Bolton’s rearranged home game with Brentford won’t be played

The Bees have been awarded a 1-0 win by the EFL after Bolton’s Safety Advisory Group issued a prohibition notice over the fixture.

Bolton’s final home game of the season with Brentford will not be played (Dave Howarth/PA)
Bolton’s final home game of the season with Brentford will not be played (Dave Howarth/PA)

Bolton’s rearranged home fixture against Brentford will not be played, with the Bees being awarded three points.

The Sky Bet Championship match, originally scheduled for last Saturday, was postponed as unpaid Bolton players went on strike, and rearranged for next Tuesday.

But statements on the official websites of both clubs and the EFL on Friday said that Bolton’s Safety Advisory Group had issued a prohibition notice preventing that contest from taking place and that it would not be played at a future date.

Brentford are being awarded three points on the basis of a 1-0 win, which moves them up from 15th to 12th in the table.

The EFL said Bolton, who are second-bottom of the table and already relegated, were guilty of misconduct and that there would be disciplinary proceedings taken against them.

The EFL’s statement said: “Following the decision taken by Bolton Wanderers’ Safety Advisory Group (SAG) to issue a Prohibition Notice preventing Tuesday’s rearranged Sky Bet Championship fixture with Brentford from taking place, the EFL will not be asking that the game is played at a future date.

“There is no provision under EFL Regulations to direct clubs to play at a later date than four days past the conclusion of the season and, as a result, it has been determined that Brentford will be awarded the three points on the basis of a 1-0 victory.

“As a consequence, Bolton Wanderers is now deemed to be guilty of misconduct by the EFL which will result in disciplinary proceedings against the club being taken at an appropriate time.

“The decision to award the victory to Brentford is taken under Regulation 33.2 and is independent of the proceedings referred to above.”

That came after Laurence Bassini claimed to have taken control of Bolton despite the club’s insistence his potential takeover was off.

Bolton issued a statement on Thursday evening saying there would be no further discussions with the former Watford chairman.

I have taken control of the club this morning. Laurence Bassini

On Tuesday Bassini had committed to providing proof of funds for his potential purchase to the EFL within 48 hours, but Bolton said that deadline passed without the required information being provided.

Bassini, however, views the matter differently.

In a statement issued to Sky Sports News, he said: “I have taken control of the club this morning and instructed staff not to make any further statements. I have proof of funds and a watertight contract.”

He added: “I will be attending the Nottingham Forest game on Sunday and I will put things right at Bolton Wanderers. Ken Anderson (chairman) cannot sell the club to anyone else, he is on notice and would be in breach of contract should he try to, I am the only person who can buy Bolton Wanderers.”

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Phil Parkinson’s Bolton have been relegated from the Championship (Martin Rickett/PA)

Bolton’s statement read: “Following the request from Mr Bassini to allow him a further 48 hours to complete his funding package and present this to the EFL, we can now confirm that no subsequent meeting took place and nothing further has been presented for the board of the EFL to consider.

“Given the urgency of the situation, which has been expressed to Mr Bassini, we now consider his approach for the club at an end and no further discussions will be entered into on the matter with him.”

Bassini’s takeover was originally announced on April 17 as the cash-strapped club looked for a buyer to save them from administration. Bassini, who was banned from holding a position of influence at any EFL club for three years in 2013, was looking for a way to return to football.

Despite Bassini’s latest comments, administration would appear to remain a serious possibility for Bolton.

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Laurence Bassini is the former chairman of Watford (Chris Radburn/PA)

The EFL released a statement on Friday morning which read: “The EFL is aware of further comments being made this morning regarding the ownership of Bolton Wanderers and remains in contact with representatives from both the club and Mr Bassini.

“The EFL’s role is to ensure any individual looking to acquire control meets the requirements of the League’s regulations, which includes providing information to demonstrate the source and sufficiency of funding.

“We remain available to the parties to assist where we can.”

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank admitted he sympathised with the Bolton staff, fans and players.

Speaking at his press conference ahead of his side’s game with Preston on Sunday in quotes carried on the Brentford Twitter account, Frank said: “First and foremost, I feel sorry for the Bolton staff, fans and players because they are in a mess and it is not nice to be in a situation like that.

“I hope, deep down, that they can turn it around and come out on the other side.”

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