BOLTON Wanderers are locked in dispute with catering partners Heathcote & Co over an unpaid bill of nearly £200,000.

The Bolton-based company, owned by chef Paul Heathcote, have provided catering services for the club’s hotel since 2013 and have a staff base of 250 people.

The dispute led to the threat of concourse food and corporate hospitality being withdrawn completely for the weekend game against Charlton Athletic, and was only restored at the last minute.

Customers at the Whites Hotel were yesterday informed all credit facilities had been withdrawn and that all goods must be purchased in cash only. That facility has now been restored.

Wanderers chairman Ken Anderson has been critical of some of the “commercially unworkable” contracts he inherited from the previous regime after taking co-ownership of the club last March.

He alleged in a statement on the club’s official website that capital expenditure worth £120,000 for refurbishments had not been paid and that a “one-sided” agreement provides Heathcote & Co with an 80-20 split on revenue made on food and drinks.

Mr Anderson also warned that “unpleasant” decisions may soon have to be made to address the financial situation at the club and its hotel.

“I am sure you can appreciate the agreement does not make commercial sense for the club/hotel,” he wrote. “Indeed, we maintain that it actually costs us money, which is particularly galling when our staff work so hard in marketing and promoting the businesses and often go beyond the call of duty in the effort and hours they put in.”

However, Mr Heathcote, a lifelong Wanderers fan, has taken legal advice on his next move and said in a statement that all he wanted was for him and his staff to be paid like anyone else who provided a service.

He said: “For anyone who doubts I have been anything but a Bolton supporter for 50 years - I saw my first game at age six, accompanied by my great grandmother,” he said.

“I employ 250 people at the hotel and stadium. Their livelihoods and sometimes families depend on me and my senior team. We clean up and make good rooms, serve food, wine, beer, coffee and serve customers.

“Alongside this we have invested in the club with hard-earned cash and, I hope, all with a smile.

“All we ask is that we are paid for a job like everyone else who works and has a living to make.”

Mr Anderson is looking to sit down and negotiate the matter in the coming days.

“I too have a team that I need to protect and the recent threat of refusing or reducing service puts the business under immense pressure,” he said.

“The contract clearly mentions remedies for non-payment, but they do not include threats of winding up actions if payment is only days late or withdrawing services instantly. There is a process and Heathcote & Co have not adhered to it.”