Dean Holdsworth on Bolton Takeover and Ken Anderson

  • September 29, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Dean Holdsworth has described his 2016 takeover of Bolton Wanderers as an 'incredible moment', whilst expressing regret at introducing Ken Anderson to the club.

With the Trotters embroiled in court proceedings which looked likely to result in administration, or even liquidation, Holdsworth stepped in at the 11th hour to purchase the club from Eddie Davies - flanked by co-owner Anderson, who had previously been disqualified from being a company director for a period of eight years from September 2005.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's File on Four, Holdsworth admitted completion of the deal gave him a feeling only comparable to scoring a winning goal at Wembley Stadium.

"Being involved with the takeover and ownership at Bolton was an incredible experience," he said.

"I was in my office and you'd think I'd just scored the winner at Wembley.

"It just felt like such a release after what we'd been through. It was an incredible moment - a massive release and punching the air was all you could do at the time."

Unable to raise enough capital to fund the club solely, Holdsworth was introduced to Anderson in the early months of 2016 after a previous financial backer had pulled out of an agreement to join the Sports Shield group.

Adding to his previous comments, Holdsworth revealed he had been won over by Anderson after he provided all documentation required by the EFL to facilitate a successful takeover of a member club.

"It seemed good, it seemed fine," he added.

"I believed what I was being told, or wanted to believe it because we literally had to have certain things in place for the EFL.

"He was offering that and that's how it all came about."

The EFL have faced intense scrutiny from supporters of clubs such as Bolton, Blackpool, Charlton Athletic and Wigan Athletic - amongst others - in recent years with regards to their 'Fit and Proper' Person Test.

Holdsworth would go on to express his belief that there are flaws within the system, but felt the EFL's checks on he and his financial advisors were more than satisfactory prior to the conclusion of a deal.

"For me personally, and the finance people we were using, they had to pass quite an extensive period of questions - the same as myself," he said.

"I felt, for me personally, the EFL had done a good job - passports and anti money laundering - it wasn't something which you could just be blasé about. You had to give that and they had to approve it."

Although he believed background and financial checks on himself were above board, Holdsworth was asked whether he had any understanding of the EFL's research into Anderson's history.

In response, Holdsworth said: "No - not one bit.

"It wasn't something I was ever given. I asked the question and was never given an answer."

When quizzed on whether he believes Anderson should have been given permission to hold a controlling stake in a club following his 2005 disqualification, he concluded: "In my opinion, no. Not one bit."

Holdsworth left Wanderers in 2017 and saw his Sports Shield BWFC company liquidated at the High Court in August of that year.

Anderson remained in overall control of Bolton until the summer of 2019, when the Football Ventures consortium completed a takeover of their own with the club once again facing regular court cases over unpaid wages, bills and creditors.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
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