WANDERERS will take steps towards administration if a buyer is not found within the next 48 hours.

Staff at the Macron Stadium have been warned that the emergency measure will be taken by midweek unless one of four interested parties provide concrete evidence they have the £14million being asked to cover debts, plus provide proof they can continue to operate the club as a going concern.

The process of trading during administration will be expensive and would have to be funded by the immediate sale of assets – most notably players such as Zach Clough and Mark Davies.

Local rivals Wigan Athletic have also expressed an interest in buying the club’s training base at Euxton, which could raise around £2.5m.

The sale of offices at the Macron Stadium has raised £4m, which has been used to pay staff costs last month and also to help repay the loan from Nucleus Finance which was taken out last August.

Paying the loan, which was secured against the stadium, should make the process of selling simpler but would also give the club more control in the event of administration.

The majority of remaining debt that would be inherited by a buyer or an administrator comes in the form of director and shareholders’ loans.

Wanderers have stated publicly that Davies will waive the £180m-plus loans built up since he took control of the club in December 2003.

The Isle of Man businessman is asking for just £1 to assume control of the club – but The Bolton News understands that he still has around £3m of personal loans to the club that are not being written off.

Barclays Bank also have money tied into the deal which is secured against assets.

Trevor Birch continued to negotiate last night and it is believed he had a meeting with one of the financial backers behind the Sports Shield consortium, fronted by Dean Holdsworth.

The former Whites striker is still the front runner, although a number of other options have materialised in the last couple of weeks.

Isle of Man businessman Dennis Rodgers is believed to have introduced two consortia, one from India and another from the US, to the negotiation table.

The US-backed bid also has strong local connections in the form of ex-Bolton nightclub owner Jonathan Disley, dubbed by one national newspaper as the “King of Marbella.”

Mr Disley had a charge of fraud quashed by Preston Crown Court in April 2014 and was pictured sitting alongside Holdsworth at a recent game at the Macron Stadium but has not been involved in Sports Shield’s bid.