Ken Bates Rejected Bolton Takeover Approach

  • January 28, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Former Chelsea and Leeds United owner Ken Bates has revealed he turned down the opportunity to be involved in a takeover bid at Bolton Wanderers.

Bates, who left Leeds in 2013, was speaking to Radio Yorkshire about the current situation at Elland Road and was asked for his opinion on the current financial situation at Wanderers, who play host to United in the FA Cup on Saturday.

In response, Bates admitted he was approached by a third party since Trevor Birch's arrival at Macron Stadium, but he rejected the invitation to analyse the club's books and claims they will be lucky to escape administration.

"When the Premier League was born, we instituted the parachute payments system, with the idea of being a cushion for relegated clubs to get their acts together with lower gates and high wages," Bates said.

"But every club should put in their contracts relegation clauses, whereby if the club gets relegated then the player's wages are automatically reduced.

"Bolton didn't do that and, when they were struggling in the Premier League, they spent rather extravagantly to try and stay up. It backfired and was a gamble that failed.

"I think the wage bill is still over £20million a year, but you just can't afford it and that's why the owner, who's offered to sell the club for £1, has marked off £180million of loans which he knows he isn't going to get back anyway.

"It's no secret that I was approached and I declined without even looking at the figures, but I knew that they were pretty ropey and I think they'll be lucky to avoid administration.

"The problem is, under the deal with the PFA, when a club goes into administration, the creditors get so much in the pound and you get a fresh start, and that includes HMRC. But player contracts have to be honoured in full and that was one of the problems with Leeds United.

"When I came in, the consortium was still struggling with the effects of relegation the previous summer and they were stuck with players like Gary Kelly, who was on £2million-per-year. You can't afford it. The players were well within their rights and that was one of the reasons the club fell into administration."

When asked for further comment on the approach from Bolton, Bates added: "It was since Trevor Birch came on board and the approach came via a third party, but I didn't even think about it.

"He said 'I've approached you because I've been asked to, but I would advise you the same thing - don't even think about it'."

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
2 Peterborough United 4 9
3 Portsmouth 4 8
4 Bolton Wanderers 4 8
5 Exeter City 4 7
6 Charlton Athletic 4 7
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston