SINCE news of a potential takeover broke on Saturday evening the feeling among Wanderers fans has shifted to hope rather than expectation.

Ken Anderson has confirmed he is in talks to sell the club but in the time-honoured tradition, there have been twists and turns. Nothing is ever simple.

Will the owner carry through on his pledge to pass on Wanderers to someone with deeper pockets, or are we edging nearer to another failed deal?

Here we examine what we have learned so far and what needs to be done if Bolton are to get a new name above the door.

The process of selling a football club is a complex affair and nobody will want a repeat of the problems encountered by Wanderers in early 2016 as they waited for Eddie Davies to do a deal with Ken Anderson and Dean Holdsworth.

Fans clamour for information but the very nature of a business deal means much of the detail remains hidden behind closed doors and buried within the confines of a non-disclosure agreement.

Neither of the two parties thought to be in talks with Wanderers have 'gone public' or made a statement on their intentions but The Bolton News has discovered fragments of the story, pieced together below.

Russian revolution?

FOR a while now there have been rumours of Russian interest at Wanderers – and yesterday they looked like the only bidders still at the table.

In fairness, the Russian element is only a part of the consortium interested in buying the club and sources claim there is also cash from another country backing it up.

The mysterious bid has tried hard to keep its components private but it is understood a businessman from the North West is fronting up the offer.

They claim to be in advanced talks with Anderson, which appeared to be backed-up by the chairman's statement on Monday.

London Calling

ON Saturday evening, a bid fronted by London businessman Parminder Basran appeared to be on the verge of success.

A deal had been agreed in principle but complications arose over the weekend that left the group to step away from the negotiation table. The indication yesterday, however, was that another effort could be made before the end of the week.

Basran, who is originally from Cheshire, with a family who made money in food manufacture, hotels and restaurants.

He is a founder and managing partner at growth capital firm VGC Partners and runs a private equity fund backed by Eduardo Savarin, one of the co-founders of Facebook.

He also has a share in the 10ten talent agency, owned by Terry Byrne and Brazil legend Pele, who boast a number of high-profile clients including England boss Gareth Southgate, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Glenn Hoddle and Eidur Gudjohnsen.

A company entitled Football Ventures (Whites) Limited was launched in January to facilitate the bid for Wanderers.

Sharon Brittan is the other named director at FVWL, a businesswoman with a background in asset management and property development. She also worked with Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason on an office project called Britannia Row and has a footballing background, her father having once served in the backroom staff at Burnley.

The Bolton News: 15/06/15.IBROX - GLASGOW.New Rangers manager Mark Warburton (left) and his assistant and former club star David Weir get unveiled at Ibrox.. (29446971)

Mark Warburton

THE former Rangers, Nottingham Forest and Brentford boss has been strongly linked with the Basran bid – and is even reported to have sounded out potential signings and staff appointments in anticipation of a takeover.

Warburton was appointed as sporting director at Brentford in 2011 and moved into management with the Bees in 2013. He led them out of League One as runners-up and then helped the club into play-off contention before a controversial exit, in which he questioned Brentford’s reliance on the ‘moneyball’ model of recruitment.

He moved on to Rangers in 2015 and led them to promotion from the Championship and victory in the Challenge Cup final, also claiming PFA Scotland manager of the year.

Again, his exit from Ibrox was shrouded in some mystery and after claiming he had not resigned from the club in February 2017, he linked up with Nottingham Forest on a two-and-a-half year deal. His time at the City Ground lasted just nine months.

What his potential role could be – either as a sporting director or as a manager – is also unclear.

The Bolton News: CHIEF: New Bolton Wanderers chairman Ken Anderson

Ken Anderson

THE Wanderers chairman has not hidden his desire to sell and confirmed on Monday that he was in “detailed discussion” with one interested buyer.

That statement came quickly after the Basran bid had stepped away after the agreement they felt they had on Saturday fell through.

Anderson has voiced his frustration at so-called “tyre kickers” who have occupied his time in the past but sounded hopeful that a deal could be done this time around.

“It is no secret that I am looking for investment but I receive many enquiries virtually every week, a great deal of which often come from time wasters and dreamers who are unable to offer any proof of funding and disappear as quickly as they arrive,” he said.

“In my experience, when people leak details of a deal they rarely occur which is probably because they weren’t in a position to do a deal in the first place.

“I can confirm, however, that detailed discussions are taking place with an interested party but as I am sure that you will appreciate I am unable to give you details at this stage.”

The Bolton News:

How much money is being asked?

IN October 2017, Wanderers created a ‘taster document’ which valued Anderson’s majority shareholding at £25million.

The document, which was seen by The Bolton News, said: “all directors will stand down upon a successful takeover.”

It added: “The company will be sold with no structured debt and just normal trade creditors outstanding.”

The situation has been complicated somewhat since then after the sad passing of former owner Eddie Davies, who had money tied up in the club and supplied a £5million bridging loan just four days before his death to help avoid administration.

The loan was made to a company owned by Anderson, Inner Circle Investments Ltd, and secured against Anderson’s shares in Burnden Leisure Limited.

Anderson then used the money to pay off finance company BluMarble in September last year by issuing a loan secured against club assets.

What effect this has had on the overall price being asked is unclear – but Anderson maintained to the BBC in October last year that two bids of £30m had been made by parties in the US and Middle East. The offers later fell down, with the Bolton chairman admitting the bidders had “failed to provide proof of their ability to finance the purchase.”

Another big factor in the overall price will be which division Wanderers are playing in next season. As a Championship club it will certainly command a higher price than if Phil Parkinson’s side were to drop into League One.

The Bolton News: Official opening of the new £20 million sandwich bread making facility at Warburtons Bakery in Burnley, by executive director Brett Warburton. Picture by Paul Heyes, Wednesday May 20, 2015..

Other key players

ANY takeover at Wanderers will not just involve striking a deal with Ken Anderson but also those who have security on the club.

Eddie Davies’s debt is now managed by a group of trustees and their legal advisors, and it is understood that repayment of the £5m loan – supplied by the former owner’s company Moonshift Investments to Anderson’s company - is due soon.

The fact Anderson loaned on the money to Wanderers and secured it against club assets makes the matter a little more complicated.

Michael James, co-owner of Prescot Business Park Limited, and a lifelong Bolton fan, is also one of the major creditors with two charges against the Bolton Whites Hotel and its catering and conferencing facilities. His debt was reported to be £5.5m in March of last year.

Former vice-chairman Brett Warburton, pictured, would be another debt which potentially needed to be settled, reported to be £2.5m, also in March of last year.

Anderson claimed in September that loans to both James and Warburton had been extended on better terms.

The Bolton News: SUITED: Ken Anderson, right, with consultant Paul Aldridge, left, and Eddie Davies

Who is doing the selling?

ANDERSON has taken an active role in speaking to interested parties but much of the groundwork has been done by his right-hand-man Paul Aldridge, the former West Ham and Sheffield Wednesday chief executive.

Aldridge, who has acted as Anderson's advisor since June 2016, has fielded many of the enquiries at ground level and done the initial vetting.

What happens next?

EVERYTHING depends on bidders’ ability to strike a deal with Anderson, check the financial details of the club – known as due diligence – and then put their plan to the EFL.

The process can take time, as Wigan Athletic fans will attest, but the parties concerned seem confident they can wrap things up quickly.

And if they don't?

IF neither party reaches a deal then it is back to square one.

Anderson has said he would only sell to the "right person" but the fans’ frustration which has come to the surface since Christmas, particularly at the University of Bolton Stadium, is unlikely to make the situation any easier.