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Struggling soccer club Bolton set for change of ownership

BOLTON, England (AP) A businessman who was banned from English soccer for three years for financial misconduct has signed a deal to buy struggling second-tier club Bolton.

Bolton says Laurence Bassini, the former chairman of Watford, has purchased the club and will settle its long-term debts that are threatening to put one of the founding members of the English Football League, in 1888, out of business.

The change of ownership must be approved by English soccer authorities.

Bolton, which could be relegated to the third tier on Friday, owes 1.2 million pounds ($1.6 million) to Britain's tax authority and its players have still not been paid their salaries for March.

Bassini was banned from holding a position of authority at an English club for three years in 2013.

Bolton says "significant funds will immediately be made available" once the sale of the club is confirmed, "enabling the payment of the outstanding wages to the players and coaching staff along with a number of the long-term creditors."

Bolton was most recently in the Premier League in 2012.

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Updated April 17, 2019

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