BOLTON Wanderers could be set to slip into administration this morning aftet last-ditch talks to pay-off a loan debt of nearly £5million fail to bear fruit.

The Bolton News understands an administrator has been appointed by finance company BluMarble, who had set a deadline of 5pm yesterday for club owner Ken Anderson to settle the dispute. No agreement was reached, and paperwork has now been filed by legal representatives at court.

There is yet scope for the administration notice to be voluntarily revoked by BluMarble – but that would hinge on their demands being met and funds cleared before they are filed at court in London by 10am.

As a result of an insolvency event, EFL rules state Wanderers can be deducted 12 points in the Championship, which if triggered would leave them bottom of the table on minus one point.

Debenture holders – former owner Eddie Davies, local businessman Michael James, Brett Warburton and Barclays Bank – were instructed of BluMarble’s intention to appoint an administrator on Friday and have negotiated unsuccessfully over the weekend and throughout today to try and avoid the worst case scenario.

Wanderers’ current operating losses are around £6m a year but the club is expected to show a small profit in their next set of financial accounts, due largely to the sale of Gary Madine to Cardiff City.

The funding gap for the next 12 months, taking into consideration only those debts which are due and outstanding bills, is thought to be close to £13m.

It is understood BluMarble are prepared to fund administration for several months to allow a search for a credible buyer to take over the club.

One of the bids being readied is believed to be from an American billionaire with an extensive interest in sports, media and entertainment.

As of June 2015, it is also a legal requirement for an administrator to speak with the supporters’ trust and give them an opportunity to mount an offer.

A formal statement from official receivers Quantuma, represented by Andrew Hosking, is expected to confirm their position on Tuesday morning.

The BluMarble loan was taken out in December 2015 as Sports Shield were preparing their bid to takeover at Wanderers – although this was done before Anderson came aboard with Dean Holdsworth. The terms of the loan were renegotiated last year, with the due date moved to September 1, 2018.

Speaking last month, Anderson has claimed in an interview with BBC Radio Manchester: “We are due to pay BluMarble at the beginning of next month and I don't see any reason why we won't be paying that.”

Negotiations did not run as smoothly as anticipated however, and the chairman told The Bolton News this evening: “I offered to repay the actual monies they loaned to Sports Shield BWFC but my offer was declined, unfortunately. A full statement will be made when appropriate.”

Anderson – and indeed the club – have the option of legal recourse and can appeal the penalties imposed but as things stand the club will be placed into administration within hours.

The last professional club in England to fall into administration was Aldershot Town in 2013 after their relegation from League Two. After a rule change in 2015, no club has ever fallen foul on the EFL’s s automatic 12-point deduction.