MIDDLESBROUGH are anxiously awaiting developments after next week’s trip to Bolton Wanderers was placed in doubt because of a ruling that prevents spectators from being able to enter the University of Bolton Stadium.

Bolton’s financial problems mean the local Safety Advisory Group (SAG) refused to issue a safety certificate at its meeting earlier today because it was “not prepared to put the public at risk”.

Bolton, who are up for sale, are scheduled to appear at the High Court tomorrow because of unpaid debts, and the club hierarchy claim they cannot meet the obligations of their safety certificate until their court appearance has concluded.

SAG members decided that would be too challenging a timeframe to put an adequate plan in place, and have refused to issue a certificate for Saturday’s home game with Ipswich Town and next Tuesday’s match against Middlesbrough.

All supporters will be prevented from entering the University of Bolton Stadium “until the club can demonstrate that the stadium can deliver the matchday operation to the standard required”.

The EFL are hoping to broker a resolution that will allow the two matches to take place, although there is a chance they could be postponed. Another alternative is to play the games behind-closed-doors, with supporters not allowed to attend.

Middlesbrough have already sold a number of tickets for the game, and will continue to sell away tickets unless instructed otherwise.

The club are keen to play next week as if the game has to be rearranged, the only available slot is in the final week of the season.

An EFL statement said: “Whilst disappointed, the EFL understands the rationale for the position taken by the SAG at this time.  However, we still hope the fixtures will take place as planned.

“We will work with the club and offer them any practical assistance that is available to us in an attempt to find a successful and timely resolution to the issue.”