WANDERERS’ Macron Stadium home has been granted special protection after Bolton Council approved it as an Asset of Community Value.

The Supporters’ Trust applied in December to have the club’s home ground – and all its associated land, including the car parks – given official recognition.

Several pubs in the Bolton area are already safeguarded by being listed as an ACV, which stops a public amenity being sold to an outside party without the details of the deal being made public.

It means that should club land or the stadium come up for sale, the Supporters’ Trust would have to be notified and given a six-week moratorium to indicate that they wished to bid. After that, the rules of an ACV would allow them four-and-a-half months to raise funds.

The listing is designed to prevent so-called ‘secret sales’ but it does not give preferential treatment. to the trust.

Football governance specialists Supporters’ Direct claim 54 clubs have been separated from the ownership of their football stadia since 1992.

Wanderers sold assets at the start of last year including car park land, offices and their training ground to raise £11million to prevent the club from slipping into administration.

“The Macron Stadium now joins Anfield, Old Trafford, Ewood Park, The Valley, St Andrews, Bloomfield Road and Portman Road amongst other football stadia that have an ACV listing,” said a Bolton Wanderers Football Club Supporters' Trust spokesman.

“We are also aware of several other clubs that have ACV nominations currently under consideration by their local councils and hope that all these clubs receive the same support and assistance that we have received from Bolton Council.

“ACV status also ties in with the general belief that football clubs are of vital importance to their local communities and can be better protected when their supporters play an active role in the running of those football clubs.

“We are not, by any means, the first football supporters’ organisation to pursue this route and we have consulted with other supporters’ trusts and Supporters Direct during the preparation of our application.

“Our submission to Bolton Council also received backing from local MPs and past players including Gudni Bergsson, John McGinlay, David Lee and Jussi Jaaskelainen and our thanks and appreciation go out to all involved.

“This is a positive event in helping to safeguard the future stability and sustainability of our club and in ensuring the use of BWFC assets always has the greater good of our club as the main focus.”