THE Bolton Whites Hotel has been granted a three-week stay of execution at London’s High Court today pending sale of the football club shares.

At a brief hearing this morning, Chief Insolvency and Companies Judge Briggs, adjourned the moves by creditors against Bolton Whites Hotel Ltd until May 8, the same day that Wanderers will return to court for a winding-up hearing.

The judge gave the company extra time in order to enable the sale of shares in parent company Burnden Leisure Limited. The judge was told that the plan was to use the proceeds of sale of the shares to clear debts owed by the hotel company.

The court heard that there are four petitioning creditors including Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, who are the main creditors behind the move against the club, and that they did not object to the adjournment.

At the beginning of this month another judge at the same court adjourned an HMRC petition against Bolton Wanderers FC for a second time, until May 8, after being told that at least another seven days was needed to complete sale of the club shares.

On that occasion, counsel for the club, told the judge that further time was needed for due diligence and gathering together of funds to recapitalise the club to enable it to pay the money owed to HMRC and other creditors.

"At least seven days is needed to finalise the last bits to this deal," she said.

However, the judge was told today that the sale of the shares had still not gone through.

If the move to wind up the company up had succeeded today its affairs would effectively have been handed over to an Official Receiver.

His job would then have been to do his best to ensure that debts are paid off by selling any assets available and then bringing the business – which employs around 400 staff full-time and part-time, to a close.