BOLTON Wanderers could cease to exist as we know them by lunchtime today.

The four-time FA Cup winners go to the High Court facing a winding-up petition for debts accrued under the ownership of Ken Anderson and could be liquidated by a judge if preventative measures are not taken first thing this morning.

As The Bolton News went to press, the chances of Laurence Bassini buying the club outright looked non-existent despite a last-gasp effort to raise funds from alternative backers.

And as his bid faltered the two parties who could place the business into administration – Anderson and the trustees of late owner Eddie Davies – had not done so.

There remains a short window of time for action before the 10.30am court slot at the Rolls Building in London for someone to take preventative measures and ensure 145 years of history does not get wiped off the books.

A Notice of Intention could also be filed at the court hearing itself, declairing one of the Qualifying Floating Charge Holders will be apponting an administrator in the next 10 days.

When Davies passed over control of the club in 2016 he did so to ensure his boyhood club, the team he bankrolled to a decade of Premier League football and two European campaigns, would not slip into administration.

Two years later, indeed days before he passed away, he supplied a loan to Anderson which once again kept the wolves from the door.

Now his family must act quickly to protect his legacy by doing something his professional pride perhaps refused to allow him to do.

Administration is a bitter pill to swallow, comes at a cost – both financially and to the club – but the alternative is to lose everything that Davies, a life-long fan, and tens of thousands like him, hold so dear.

If the duty to put the club into the hands of an administrator falls to Anderson, then he has an opportunity to make a selfless decision at the end of a turbulent reign.

Whatever history notes about his three years as owner, it will also log that his final decision was one to safeguard the football club when it could easily have gone out of existence.

It is time for the brinkmanship to end, the egos to wind down, a ceasefire to be called. This is about an institution surviving for future generations.

Don’t kill our town’s team.