A PREFERRED bidder has now been selected at Wanderers – and The Bolton News understands that the Football Ventures consortium have won the race ahead of four other parties.

Excitement has built steadily among supporters after joint-administrator Paul Appleton revealed that the owners-in-waiting had already put £1million into the club to fund squad rebuilding and running costs.

"I am delighted we have been able to reach a more than satisfactory outcome to this stage of the process and I am confident the preferred bidder has the ability to take Bolton Wanderers forward,” he said.

"We are now working towards a signed Heads of Terms agreement by close of play on June 14 and until that has been signed, we are still bound by the confidentiality agreement within the process.

"But I can assure all Bolton Wanderers fans that the preferred bidder has both the financial ability and the determination to turn around the fortunes of this great football club."

The secret slipped out this evening, however, that the four-person consortium, who will be led by businesswoman Sharon Brittan, have been selected to lead the club forward.

Cheshire businessman Parminder Basran, London-based Jeff Thomas and lifelong Bolton fan, Michael James, are the other members of the group as things stand.

It is believed a change of control should be swift as the party has already been given approval by the EFL. 

Football Ventures (Whites) Ltd was set up earlier this year as the group looked to buy Wanderers solvent from former owner Ken Anderson.

They pulled out, however, after uncovering several 'hidden' debts which made the deal unviable.

Wanderers were put into administration by Fildraw - the trust responsible for the estate of late owner Eddie Davies - on May 13. Just two months later they now appear to be on the verge of new ownership.

Wanderers skipper David Wheater admits he and the Bolton players have been waiting on tenterhooks alongside the fans for news.

“It’s great news that it could finally be sorted,” he told us. “The team WhatsApp group has been going mad with all the questions, wondering who it could be. We all want an end to it just the like the supporters.

“It’s a terrific club with a lot going for it. I think it has been neglected for a while, so whoever comes in needs to get a few things sorted. Once then do it’s still Premier League class, in my eyes.

“The fans have been through thick and thin, so they deserve someone who comes in with the best interest of the club at heart.”