Adidas has announced it is to close the offices at the Reebok Stadium - ending a 116-year association with the town. Reebok, who are also Bolton’s main shirt sponsors, will continue with their deals but doubts about renewals when they expire in 2016 will be raised if they move away from the town.
Adidas Group spokesman Jon Deakon said that redundancies would be inevitable as part of the move.
He said: "We are unable to comment on the number of redundancies at this moment as the consultation process has only just begun. But we do not take this move from Bolton lightly and the European MD came to the office in person to break the news to the employees.
"Depending on the structure ultimately determined, we hope to assist as many employees as possible in obtaining new positions within the Adidas Group.
"These actions will help to not only make Reebok a more flexible, efficient organisation near term but also ensure there is a strong foundation upon which it can grow."
"It’s a proposal at this stage but it’s our intention to relocate the offices based at the Reebok Stadium to adidas offices in Stockport, with some workers being offered a transfer to the global group HQ in Canton, near Boston, Massachusetts."
"The plan is currently in the consultation process and we will be holding one-to-one interviews with all staff. This has not been an easy decision but we are handling it in the best way we can."
A spokesman for Bolton Wanderers’ stadium, said:
"We have a long-term lease agreement with reebok which runs over several years and it’s up to them to come to us and negotiate with us regarding their plans."
Reebok was founded in 1895, in Bolton, by Joseph William Foster under a company called JW Foster and Sons Limited.
The family-owned business made the running shoes worn in the 1924 Olympics by the athletes Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell, who were celebrated in the film Chariots of Fire.
In 1984 a group of US investors bought the company which was subsequently taken over by Adidas.