THE takeover at Wanderers now rests almost exclusively on the outcome of the bidding process at the Whites Hotel, The Bolton News understands.

Whereas a deal has been struck with the Football Ventures consortium and a Sale and Purchase agreement now close to being signed, there is still some catch-up work to be done on the other side of a complex arrangement.

Fans’ focus has understandably been on club administrators, David Rubin and Partners, since they were appointed on May 13, and updates have been made sporadically through the media.

It is believed the sale of the club could, in theory, be wrapped up quickly - and in an impressive two-month window - but an announcement will not be made until a decision is forthcoming on the hotel, which has been under the control of administrators, Quantuma, since May 15.

Several parties are known to have expressed an interest and were contacted by email on July 4 to confirm they still wanted to “acquire the business”. But there have been no further updates on when a final choice will be made, or what deadlines have been set.

Although Ken Anderson put the business into administration, one of the directors of Football Ventures, Westhoughton-based businessman Michael James, already holds a charge on the hotel. And it is widely believed that his financial ties could give the consortium an edge over their competitors.

Football Ventures see the hotel as an integral part of their plans and are hoping for a swift decision from Quantuma as they look to start a new era at the club.

There have been signs of a return to normality this week as access was granted to offices and changing facilities at the Lostock training ground and players have stepped up their preparation for the new season – now just three weeks away.

Administrators have also played down the significance of a creditors’ vote, due on July 22, insisting it will have no bearing on the completion of the sale of the football club.