TWO foreign investors have been pitched against each other in a race to buy Bolton Wanderers Football Club for £30million.

Owner Ken Anderson claims he has received two serious offers, one from a US consortium and another from an Asian businessman based in the Middle East, who have now both provided proof of funds.

Both have pledged “substantial” cash backing for the club in the future and Anderson hopes competition could prove beneficial.

“Both have got all the figures, and they both have the money – that’s the main thing. And as of last night, it’s first past the post,” he told The Bolton News.

“To put them into context, we have had a lot of inquiries but over the course of our time here we’ve probably had 10 serious offers, and five who have proved they have the funds.

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“I have always said that if someone comes along with the funds to take the club forward, I would have no problem. And we are talking here about people with substantial funding.

“Unfortunately I have not got that kind of money but using Derby County as an example, their owner has put in something approaching £200m, Brighton was £160m when they got promotion, and that’s the kind of backing we’re talking here.

“What happens now is down to them. They may choose not to come back at all. But when you only have one offer you are forced to go at their pace, with two you can have more control.”

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Anderson has confirmed a figure of £30m has been put on the table for his shares in parent company Burnden Leisure.

“That was the figure offered to me,” he said. “And whether you are selling a car, a house, whatever, it’s worth what people are prepared to pay.”

Anderson recently claimed in an interview with BBC Radio Manchester that Wanderers “probably in the best financial position of any club in the Championship.”

His comments seemed incongruous with recent stories revealing winding-up petitions and the threat of administration from former creditor, BluMarble, which was solved only last month. Yet Anderson maintains money now owed by the club is more manageable than it had previous been.

“A lot of people have asked for the information and they are quite shocked when they realise what the real debt actually is,” he said.

“The £5m which replaced BluMarble is the bit I’d term real debt. Other loans against the hotel, or Brett Warburton’s loan against land are on assets.

“The hotel makes profit. It is a good investment when you look at the yield, and that’s down to the work put in there by staff, bringing in business like the International Football Programme, which has been incredible.

“We have made a small profit in this year’s accounts, people can now see this is a good club. And furthermore they can see going forward it can be better.”

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Wanderers have recently taken over the cleaning contract for the stadium and hotel, and have hinted at bringing catering in-house after the contract with Heathcote & Co expires in January, which Anderson claims could make a saving of between £500,000 and £1m a year.

Anderson has also confirmed details of his recent business with late owner Eddie Davies.

The Isle of Man millionaire provided a bridging loan of £5m to Anderson, which was then in turn loaned on to Wanderers and secured against club assets.

Anderson insists he will not be making additional money from the deal.

“The loan from Ed to me, then to the club has been passed on at exactly the same rate, terms and interest,” he said. “I will not be making money.”