COUNCIL bosses have upheld an order which lists Bolton Wanderers’ Macron Stadium as an Asset of Community Value.

Findings of an official council review were released on Friday evening, confirming an order nominated by the Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust and granted in February would largely be upheld.

Assets listed under an ACV order cannot be sold without public notification – and though the stadium is now legally ‘protected,’ the same review removed the Bolton Whites Hotel, offices in the North Stand and car parks B and C from its effect.

Bolton chairman Ken Anderson has voiced his opinion that the ACV is “fundamentally restrictive,” and could prevent the club from raising money through refinancing in the future. He also claimed in July more than £20,000 had been spent on legal fees.

The BWFCST have denied the claim, arguing the application was made to safeguard the stadium and club assets from a so-called ‘secret sale.’

Friday’s council decision has been viewed as a victory in both camps. The BWFCST had hoped to keep all assets under the ACV and maintain any future development on car parking land could have a serious impact on the stadium. They are, however, pleased the main focus of the ACV – the Macron itself – continues to be given a level of protection.

The club, and Prescot Business Park Ltd – a company owned by life-long fan Michael James who loaned Wanderers money secured against assets under the ACV – are also understood to have welcomed the decision.

“The exclusion of parts of a bespoke stadium from the listing is in our view misplaced,” read a statement from the trust.

“In the spirit of reconciliation, it is not the intention of the BWFCST to challenge the decision of Bolton Council. We would observe that potential sale or application for planning permission of the areas now excluded from the ACV status would clearly impact on the enjoyment and use of the majority of the stadium, should there be a future change of use.

“We believe throughout the process from December 2016, we have always had the club’s interest at heart as we sought to give the limited protection to the club’s assets through the ACV and ensure transparency in property transactions. The actions of the BWFCST have been repeated in dozens of instances around the country in respect of football stadia.

“Now that a decision has been made, we urge all the parties to work together for the benefit of the club and its community. We will work towards this end. We have initiatives to further support the club, continue with Academy initiatives as directed by the members in a series of questionnaires, continue to explore the improvement of the supporter experience and to ensure that the voice of the supporter is presented to the club.

“After recent encouraging performances on the field, we hope that we can all look forward to a more positive outlook for our club on all fronts.”


In England, an asset of community value (ACV) is land or property of importance to a local community which is subject to additional protection from development under the Localism Act 2011.

An ACV, stops a public amenity – in this case the Macron Stadium itself - from being sold to an outside party without details of the deal being made available to the public.


No. It means that should the club land or the stadium be put up for sale, the BWFCST would have to be notified with a six-week moratorium to indicate that they wished to bid. After this period, the rules allow the supporters trust four-and-a-half months to raise funds for the bid.

The ACV designed to prevent ‘secret sales’ but it doesn't mean that the trust have pre ¬fer ¬en ¬ti ¬al treatment. Their offer does not have to be accepted.


The application for the ACV was made by the BWFCST late last year and eventually granted by Bolton Council in February this year. The council instigated a review after an appeal by Bolton Wanderers and Prescot Business Park Ltd and are solely responsible for the decision.


The BWFCST has indicated it will not appeal the findings of the review. Wanderers also seem happy with the state of play.

Club owner Ken Anderson says he has cancelled any negotiations with parties interested in buying the club until next summer.