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Bolton plunges into deeper crisis after takeover scrapped

BOLTON, England (AP) — Bolton has been plunged into a deeper crisis after a potential takeover of the financially stricken English team was scrapped. The northern club, which was one of the founding members of the English league, says it has ended negotiations with prospective buyer Laurence Bassini.

Bassini, the former Watford owner, had asked for an extra two days complete his "funding package" and present it to the English Football League before the governing body could approve any takeover. Bolton says nothing has been presented for the EFL's board to consider.

Bolton said in a statement that "given the urgency of the situation, which has been expressed to Mr. Bassini, we now consider his approach for the club at an end." Bassini failed to keep his pledge that players and staff of the club would be paid during the takeover process. That led to Bolton's players announcing they would not be playing their final two fixtures in the second-tier League Championship in a protest.

The EFL charged Bolton with misconduct and ordered the team to fulfil its fixtures. Bolton has already been relegated to the third tier. The club faced a winding-up petition on April 3 over an unpaid tax bill but the case has been adjourned until May 8 to allow the proposed sale of the club to proceed. It was the sixth time in the last 18 months that Bolton, one of the founding members of the English league, has faced a winding-up order.

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