ADMINISTRATORS at Bolton Wanderers have reported a whopping SIX parties met today’s 4pm deadline.

The Bolton News understands a decision on the winning bid will be made by this time next week, meaning a new owner is still on track to take charge by the start of pre-season training.

The number of completed bids has been a pleasant surprise to the Rubin and Partners administration team, who were appointed on May 13.

They will now analyse each bid and assess which best meets the needs of the secured creditors, football creditors and unsecured creditors at the club.

Each bidder had to produce sufficient proof of funds and pay a £25,000 fee to see the data room containing sensitive financial information, which is only refundable if the offer is successful. Bidders were also asked to begin the process of getting ratified by the EFL.

Administrators have gone to great lengths to point out that there is no ‘favourite’ and that every bid which has been received will be treated on its own merits.

Entry-level research has been done on each party who have submitted an offer, with more in-depth scrutiny to come over the next few days.

The identity of the would-be buyers remains confidential, but we have learned that Chinese power company Shandong Luneng, who had used ex-Bolton head of sports science Mark Taylor as a liaison, had not submitted a bid before the Friday deadline.

It is expected that late offers will still be considered, if they are deemed valid, but with just 56 days to go before the opening weekend of the EFL campaign, time is very much of the essence for Wanderers to get themselves prepared.

It is currently planned that players and staff will return for fitness testing on either June 27 or 28, and the club currently have no friendlies scheduled.

Just six senior players who turned out in the Championship last season are currently scheduled to return for training, and Phil Parkinson and his coaching staff do not know if they will be given the go-ahead to continue in their roles.