'Several' League One clubs 'considering legal action' against EFL over Bolton Wanderers saga - report

‘Several’ League One clubs are reported to be ‘considering legal action’ against the EFL over the Bolton Wanderers saga.

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 10:13 am

The Athletic claim a number of clubs in the third tier are unhappy with what they consider to be insufficient punishments for Bolton Wanderers for allegedly registering players late for a game at the start of the season and for the ‘lenient’ punishment dished out after their game against Doncaster Rovers was postponed.

Bolton, who deny any wrongdoing over the registration of players, started the season on -12 points, the standard penalty for entering administration, and the team was made up of a small group of professionals and youth players.

But Bolton have since been taken over by Football Ventures (Whites) Limited and an improved run of form, and new signings, now sees them on plus points but still bottom of League One.

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Bolton Wanderers.
Bolton Wanderers.

In August Bolton postponed the league game against Doncaster Rovers over concerns about duty of care to protect the younger players, who had played a few days before.

They were charged by the EFL over unfulfilled fixtures against Doncaster this season and Brentford last but the penalty delivered by an independent panel was a suspended five point penalty - that was immediately appealed by the EFL over concerns it was too lenient.

The Athletic report: “The result of that appeal is still being awaited but several sources have told The Athletic that some League One clubs are considering legal action against the EFL if Bolton are not docked more points.

“Macclesfield in League Two were docked six points on Thursday for failing to fulfil a fixture against Crewe and the late payment of players.

“It is understood the clubs are also annoyed because they believe Bolton were allowed to register players for their first game of the season against Wycombe after the usual deadline of noon the day before.”

All Football League clubs are allowed to sign unattached players, or free agents, outside of transfer windows so there is no issue with Bolton bolstering their squad with free agents.

The identity of the League One clubs reported to be considering legal action against the EFL are not revealed but the report claims it is ‘several’.