IN just 15 days’ time a League One season will begin, whether Wanderers are ready or not.

Nobody is going to wait for Bolton to sort out their woes. And a club already handicapped by a 12-point deduction for going into administration is slowly scrawling its own death warrant over every single lost day without a takeover.

Nobody envisioned the road to recovery would be easy after last season’s financial meltdown but could anyone have guessed that the agony of fans, players, coaching staff and employees at the UniBol could be stretched out to this extent?

The Football Ventures consortium have had their pen hovering over the signatory line since they were named preferred bidder by the administrators at the start of the month. But their hesitancy in completing the deal and bringing back to life a club placed into stasis over the summer has started to rankle with supporters.

This week, Football Ventures have experienced their first real backlash, as questions were posed about their ability to buy both the club and hotel concurrently plus meet the demands of the football creditors without the need to defer.

In truth, concerns over their funding have lingered throughout the process. While administrators say their bid was the highest “by a substantial margin” – that claim has been disputed elsewhere.

Doubts intensified when it emerged that Parminder Basran – the Cheshire businessman who had been front and centre in their previous abandoned bid for the club – had resigned as a director in the new company set up to complete the sale.

Administrators were satisfied, however, that Basran’s disappearance from the deal did not affect their position as outstanding candidates.

On Wednesday it was revealed that players and coaching staff had rejected an offer to defer the back-pay owed to them and that one of the options being explored was a loan from the PFA.

It has been noted by people close to the deal that a loan was not a necessary requirement, but more a way of stretching cashflow and enabling more money to be poured in from the start for recruitment.

Either way, it seems an alternative strategy has now been found, and so the wait resumes.

Fans – and in particular the players – yearn for a definitive deadline on when this matter can finally be put to bed. Yet when Quantuma, the administrators responsible for the hotel, put out that the sale could still take “four to six weeks” the impact on the squad was such that they refused to play against Chester on Friday.

Taking that timeline to its full extent, and assuming the sale of the club does not happen sooner, the season would five games in by the time there was a new name above the door, and there would be just two days of the transfer window remaining.

And if we really are talking the end of August - should there be a serious examination of what the administrators have been doing for the last 65 days since they have been appointed?

The business was fully reopened to the public within a couple of days and is now fully operational again, good enough, in fact, for the Saudi side Al-Ittihad to take residence there this week.

The statement from Quantuma also listed “significant challenges” including securing key supplies, allaying customer concerns, ensuring the hotel is re-listed on booking websites and ensuring any health and safety issues have been resolved.

Considering the club sale was lined up in roughly eight weeks, and the symbiotic relationship that exists between the two companies makes time of the essence, a 14 to 16-week delay looks positively snail-like.

It is unclear exactly why Football Ventures are unwilling to complete on the club before attempting to buy the hotel, and they have remained suitably tight-lipped throughout the process. Reasoned logic suggests, however, that if they missed out, the club deal would be very much in doubt.

Here, questions can perhaps be asked of the club administrator, who sanctioned them as preferred bidders knowing there was an element of risk that the second half of the deal would not be completed. It is a safe bet, however, that anyone looking to run the football club would also recognise the benefits of owning the hotel.

Westhoughton-based Bolton fan Michael James is a secured creditor at the hotel and also a director of Football Ventures, giving them an unofficial edge on their competitors. But, as Quantuma underlined earlier this week, they must play by the rules.

Several names have been mentioned in connection with the hotel, the most recent being former Nottingham Forest owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi. It is safe to assume the Kuwaiti businessman does not harbour a great desire to operate a Horwich hotel, and rather sees it as a foot in the door of the club as a whole.

Laurence Bassini, whose efforts to buy the club solvent and in administration have proved controversial to say the least, is another footballing figure who falls into that category.

Other, more traditional, hotel chains which have registered an interest may see things differently and may be happy to work in tandem with the club.

Wanderers owned the hotel business for several years, which made for a very messy divorce when the two sets of administrators had to separate and evaluate the two entities. Such is their proximity it can be argued that neither can exist without the other. That is certainly the view of Bolton Council, who have stepped into the argument recently as leaseholders looking to safeguard the town’s club as a whole.

The EFL are also watching events carefully, mindful of the fact their competition’s integrity has to be maintained and Bolton’s senior team could currently fit inside a reasonably sized Uber.

Last season’s strike, which forced off the home game against Brentford, was a huge embarrassment to the league and in particular to outgoing chief Shaun Harvey, who had frequently maintained that Wanderers had enough money to see out the season.

Recent events at Bolton and neighbours Bury have shone a very strong light on the EFL’s governance, in particular their directors and owners’ tests, and they will be keen to ensure that if there is a change of control, it does not bring them any more unwanted headlines.

Just getting a team out on to the pitch at Adams Park on August 3 looks like a difficult task and the half-dozen players who are currently contracted to Wanderers are surely unlikely to volunteer if they are still unpaid at that point. Some have offers to play their football elsewhere and would be reluctant to suffer injury, others, more worryingly, are suffering very real stresses and anxieties.

Still upset at the poor information they were given during the final days of Ken Anderson’s reign, feelings are understandably raw within the dressing room. Players were unhappy that money which they were told was available for wages in April did not materialise once the administration process started, and further enraged to read the predicted cost of the accountants - just under £1million - when it was released last week.

But the straw that broke the camel’s back was Quantuma’s “four to six week” revelation, which destroyed any lingering hope they had that the matter would be sorted quickly.

Though many have pinned their hopes on Football Ventures being the ones to bring stability and normality to Bolton, we might just have reached a stage where if they cannot get the deal over the line, other options should be examined.

Statements traded by players and administrators on Wednesday might well have brought fresh focus. Here’s hoping, at least.

Fans are sick of hearing the deal is close, they simply want to know it will happen and there will be a team to support at Wycombe.

And if Football Ventures are not in a position to do it urgently – then perhaps now is the time to step aside and let someone else try?