Bolton face liquidation this week unless a deal to buy the club which collapsed over the weekend can be resurrected at the 11th hour.
Wanderers had been given until 5pm on Tuesday by the EFL for a takeover to be completed or face having their league membership revoked.
However, the administrator Paul Appleton has revealed a deal collapsed on Saturday morning and despite “tentative dialogue” about salvaging it he said if there is no breakthrough “the process of closing down the company will commence on Wednesday”.
“In just over 24 hours, the club will have its membership of the EFL revoked,” said Appleton in a statement. “Over and above that, the club is currently not in a position to carry on trading and, as such, the process of closing down the company will commence on Wednesday.
“This will ultimately lead to its liquidation, the expulsion of the club from the EFL and the inevitable loss of over 150 jobs. More than that, it will devastate a community for whom the football club is a beacon of hope and expectation.
“I reiterate, unless there is a change of position from any of the parties involved, the process of closing down the club and ultimately placing Bolton Wanderers into liquidation will begin this week.”
Explaining the collapse of a proposed sale to the Football Ventures consortium, Appleton added: “At 5pm on Friday August 23, the completion of the sale of the football club and the hotel had been agreed by all parties and undertakings had been issued by all solicitors except those of [the owner] Ken Anderson.
“Devastatingly, on Saturday morning that deal collapsed. At this stage, there seems little point in apportioning blame because that makes no difference to the staff, players, management, supporters and the community who have once more seen their club taken back to the brink.
“My team have spent the last 48 hours working around the clock, striving to get a deal back on track and trying to convince the parties still in conflict that the very fate of Bolton Wanderers depends on them finding a compromise.”