WANDERERS took a giant step towards a takeover yesterday but the sale of their Euxton training ground to local rivals Wigan Athletic is still likely to go ahead.

Dean Holdsworth’s Sports Shield consultancy group are in prime position to buy the club from Eddie Davies but The Bolton News understands their bid for exclusivity was not granted in time to prevent the sale of their plush Lancashire base.

Wanderers will receive £2.2million from the sale of the former ROF Chorley Sports Ground, which has been their weekday home for more than 15 years.

It remains to be seen whether the money is used to pay a £3m tax and VAT bill that awaits the club at the High Court in London on Monday.

The sale of training facility to the Latics is expected to be completed in the next few days, with Wanderers moving out by the end of the season.

The first team are likely to use facilities at the Macron Stadium until improvements can be made to the 40-acre academy base at Lostock, which houses 12 pitches and one all-weather pitch.

Holdsworth’s Sports Shield Group have a limited amount of time to complete the legal paperwork and complete their bid but it is understood they were in the best position of all available bidders to complete a swift sale.

Davies has asked for proof of funding for at least 12 months and the Football League – who will also have to give their approval to the takeover – have also sought confirmation that the group have enough cash to run the club for the foreseeable future.

Wanderers are likely to make a public comment on the takeover situation today – which could give Neil Lennon’s side a massive lift ahead of their home game against QPR tomorrow.

“The only way you keep fans believing is by getting results,” Lennon said yesterday. “If we win on Saturday, it takes us into a big game at Birmingham City on Tuesday. We get a result there and everything looks different again.

“If we can get some clarification on the takeover it might just settle the fans down. It has been hugely difficult for them with the club on the precipice. The long term future of club is paramount and we just hope the deal gets done soon.”