Bolton served with winding-up petition by HMRC over unpaid tax bill

• HMRC rejects Bolton request for time to conclude sale or raise funds
• Move raises the possibility of administration for Championship club

The financial crisis at Bolton Wanderers has become critical after Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs issued a winding-up petition for unpaid PAYE tax and VAT, the club have confirmed. Bolton, who were in the Premier League for 11 years until relegation in 2012 , announced they could not pay their players’ wages for last month, and have also not paid the PAYE due on those wages.

The winding-up petition is set to be heard in court on 18 January and Trevor Birch, the insolvency practitioner advising the board, is battling to raise sufficient money to keep the club trading and avoid Bolton having to go into administration. If that did happen it would make it very unlikely for creditors, including HMRC, to be paid in full, and result under Football League rules in a deduction of 12 points. With Wanderers already bottom of the Championship, that would make relegation a certainty, according to the manager, Neil Lennon.

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