Tag Archives: bolton wanderers

Owner’s AWOL, Staff Unpaid & Bury FC Are Seemingly Going Forgotten

Much of the football news from this part of the country towards the end of last season focused on the plight of Bolton Wanderers and their seemingly unending fight to remain in existence.

Much was made of the need to keep the club from disappearing due to its rich history. However, just down the road, an equally important battle was being fought out at Bury FC whose history dates back 134 years and have equal claims to be considered as vital to the Football League pyramid.

With Bolton heading for administration and life in League One, supporters around the country have organised food collections for staff who haven’t been paid and are experiencing acute hardship.

Whilst this is to be applauded obviously, it appears to have overshadowed the similar position Bury staff find themselves in. It is possible that Bury’s automatic promotion from League Two has somehow been misinterpreted as evidence that the club are doing well, and that their future is bright and secured – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Bury still face an uncertain future, while owner Steve Dale goes AWOL and leaves the staff to fend for themselves in this crucial and uncertain time. At the insolvency hearing in the High Court, Judge Prentis acknowledged the fact that Bury was a ‘historic’ club and adjourned the case till June 19th.

That is still four weeks away and although it gives the club some breathing space in which to bring in last-minute potential buyers, the unpaid staff still have bills of their own and are often the forgotten party in situations like this.

There is no real reason why Bolton should be considered to be in a worse situation than Bury, and there are surely fans from other clubs who would gladly help out if needed.

The problem, of course, is the lack of publicity smaller clubs get and although both Bolton and Bury will be hopefully competing against each other next season. It will always be ‘ex-Premier League’ Bolton who make the headlines despite Bury holding the record for the highest FA Cup final score for 116 years.

It should be remembered that although Bury are not as well supported as the two Manchester clubs, visitors to Gigg Lane and the town, spend money that benefits the local community and that is a vital source of income for local businesses.

I what should be an exciting preseason full of hope and preparation for life in England’s third tier, Bury are left between a rock and a hard place. Many of the playing staff are starting to vent their anger socially, after holding their tongue for too long.

There’s a sense at Bury that many people at the top end are in it for themselves, they forget that long after they have gone the fans remain, the community remains and hopefully the club remains.

This is a lower league club, a small town club, that is not there to line the pockets of crooked owners. Real life, local people are being affected by the flippant decisions made at the top. It brings stress and much more for many who have not been paid for three months, this has to stop now and the EFL have to take ownership of their dealings with potential owners.

Bury Football Club needs your help, get in touch and let’s get these amazing people who are going without pay, the aid they need.

Staff Unpaid, Food Banks Open and Now The Bolton Fans Have Been Punished With a 12 Point Deduction – All That Is Wrong With The EFL

Given the number of clubs who have experienced financial difficulties this season, there is perhaps now room for the EFL to look at the way in which they tackle the problems of their members.

The rule concerning the ‘fit and proper persons test‘ is surely due for an overhaul as it has been shown to be unfit for purpose on numerous occasions. It can investigate legal and financial details, it can check the structure and economic viability but what it cannot ask is: are you a clown?

This puts the game at a great disadvantage because as far as clowns are concerned, there has been an entire circus of them involved in football at various levels.

As some sort of fix for this and to serve as a warning to others, the EFL have imposed a 12 point penalty on Bolton next season for putting the club into administration. The EFL will now ‘commence discussions with the administrators with the aim of achieving a long-term future for the club‘.

Starting a season 12 points adrift of everyone else leaves Bolton fans in a position they have little control of. Whilst concern must be directed at the staff who haven’t been paid and are relying on food banks, the fans must feel hard done by especially if they’ve bought season tickets for the 19/20 season.

It is almost beyond belief that serious thought was given to the interest shown by Laurence Bassini, the clown prince of football owners. His inability to show that he had any funding in place to purchase the club was the reason talks collapsed, and Bolton found themselves back at the High Court.

It would be perhaps a wise move for the EFL to consider giving potential new owners a trial period. In which to prove they had the best interests of the club at heart because, at present, few people have much faith in the ruling body to sort out the mess.

Whilst the lawyers and advisers argue over the millions owed, the bleak outlook for the staff is one of debt and empty food cupboards, and something really needs to change soon to avoid it happening elsewhere.

How Good is Bolton’s Luca Connell Future, With Tottenham & Co Sniffing Around

It’s a really sad state of affairs at Bolton Wanderers this season, the club have been relegated back to League One and the ownership of the club still looms like a dark cloud over the University of Bolton Stadium.

To pour more misery on the Bolton fans, it seems one of their young starlets is grabbing the attention of many a Premier League suitor. Youngster Luca Connell is an Irish midfielder, who is out of contract come to the end of the season and, can leave for nothing more than training fees.

He’s made quite the impression in his 10 outings in the Championship this season for the Trotters. Playing in a defensive role in the midfield is his favoured position, however, he can be moved about a little to left-back or left-wing showing a good deal of versatility.

Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City, Everton and Wolves have all got Connell firmly in their radars and with good reason too.

The 18-year-old is an up and coming star. He may not be the key signing the fans want for the likes of Spurs, who haven’t signed anyone in the past two transfer windows, but in what will be a very competitive market this window. Investing in the future may not seem the silliest of ideas for Pochettino.

He can certainly flourish at a club like Spurs who do give youth a chance, although a high possibility would be that he is sent back out on loan for a season in the Championship to gain some more game time experience.

Whatever his destination is, Luca Connell is a name that all Bolton fans will be keeping an eye on over the course of the next few seasons. Let’s hope that Bolton’s future can do a 360 and be as bright a future as the Irishman.

Oldham Should Look To Secure Ex-Bolton Players Signatures

With the situation at Bolton becoming more critical by the day, the players who find themselves unpaid and, with an uncertain future may well be looking to cut their losses and move on as soon as possible.

With the season over and their bargaining power fast disappearing, calls to their agents must be high on their ‘to do’ list.

It is sickening for supporters to lose players from a club for financial reasons, however, it has happened at Oldham when owner Chris Moore dismantled the side back in 2003 which had shown great promise under manager Iain Dowie.

Bolton fans must realise that most of the players who have struggled through this season are not going to be around in August, and there are three in particular who might be persuaded to make the trip over to Boundary Park…

Paweł Olkowski

Faced with the prospect of playing in League One with a possible points deduction. The 29-year-old, 6-foot Polish defender may well fancy his chances in Oldham’s back line. There is a rumour that the former FC Koln player has given Bolton two weeks notice after their failure to pay him. He has not featured in the last three Bolton games, and with the club back in the High Court on May 8th, deserting the sinking ship may begin in earnest.

Clayton Donaldson

Any player reaching his 35th birthday and finding himself in a side heading for oblivion may see a drop down to a lower division, as the perfect opportunity to board a lifeboat. The big centre forward has had a fair few clubs, with his best period being with Crewe eight years ago but might be just the player to lead Latics frontline next season.

Ben Alnwick

Latics are going to need a new ‘keeper next season and it might seem odd to choose one who let in 78 goals this season, but there should be competition for places and if  Zeus de la Paz is hoping to step up to be the first choice in goal. There is no reason why the much-travelled Alnwick and youth team ‘keeper Ewan McFarlane, shouldn’t be breathing down his neck.

What does the Future Hold For Bolton After Bassini Takeover Talks Collapse?

For those who are still concerned over the future of Bolton Wanderers, the breakdown of talks with Laurence Bassini are another setback in the fast disappearing hopes of keeping the club alive.

The latest missive from the University of Bolton stadium has seen the club announce that Ken Anderson, the current owner of the club, will consult his advisers and consider the best course of action as a matter of urgency. They also claimed that Bassini had not taken up an offer to carry out due diligence in the club’s data room.

Whilst the interest of Bassini in purchasing the club brought about its own reservations, many believed that despite his poor track record at least his involvement might buy more valuable time for the club to get themselves in a better position.

Unfortunately, another nail has now been hammered into the BWFC coffin with the announcement that the EFL has awarded Brentford three points for the game that was postponed due to the players strike. The decision given is that safety could not be assured if the replay went ahead.

Not being able to fulfil the club’s fixtures is a serious breach of league rules and the club will now face disciplinary proceedings. The EFL said, “As a consequence, Bolton Wanderers is now deemed to be guilty of misconduct by the EFL which will result in disciplinary proceedings against the Club being taken at an appropriate time.”

“The decision to award the victory to Brentford is taken under Regulation 33.2 and is independent of the proceedings referred to above.”

Anyone with a long enough memory will recall that when Aldershot was in a similar situation in 1992, their expulsion from the league was swift and went largely unnoticed. However, Wanderers are a club with a much larger profile and other clubs who are walking the tightrope between financial stability and disaster will be monitoring the situation with interest.

Bury & Stockport Are Up, Bolton Down, Salford in The Playoffs, with Rochdale & Wigan Safe

This is the EFL and Below Show from the Manchester Football Social, your look at all of the footballing action in Greater Manchester that doesn’t come from the Premier League.

Niall McCaughan is joined by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson from the Football Manc Cave after a busy period which saw Bury promoted to League One despite their off-field issues, and Stockport County making a welcome return to the 5th tier of English football after winning the National League North.

Bolton continue to be shrouded in ownership doubts and were relegated from the Championship in a week where the players went on strike – the same can’t be said for Paul Cook’s Wigan Athletic who dug in to secure their place in the second tier for another season, much like Brian Barry-Murphy’s Rochdale side who have avoided relegation in League One.

Salford are unsure of their fate as they prepare to take on the National League playoffs – plenty to talk about of course on this week’s episode!

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What’s gone wrong for Rochdale’s Zack Clough?

Zach Clough’s signing on loan from Nottingham Forrest on the 31st of August was seen as some what of a coup for Rochdale at the time. With his signing seen as a massive statement of intent from Dale to kick on after their tense relegation battle last season.

He started off well even scoring on his debut against Bury in a Checkatrade Trophy group game, a game which his obvious talent was there for all to see. However, for whatever reason he just never really kicked on and got a solid run in the team.

Clough seemingly was almost constantly on the treatment table, with small niggling injuries that cost him large parts of the first half of the campaign. Rochdale fans we’re not getting what they thought out of the 2.25m rated man and began to grow frustrated at his lack of playing time. 

There was rumours of a falling out between Keith Hill and Clough over a poor attitude towards training, albeit there were many rumours of such with Keith before his sacking in March. This rumour was surely put to bed by the fact Hill resigned Clough on loan for the rest of the season on deadline day in January, after he had returned back to Forest seemingly under the radar.

Unfortunately, once again he never managed to see the pitch long enough to gain any momentum with injuries seeing him restricted to fleeting appearances on the bench.

The former Bolton Wanderers player managed only 540 minutes of football in the two short loan spells at the club this season. Scoring one and assisting one in the Checkatrade trophy – after oozing class in his first days at Nottingham Forest the future for Clough doesn’t look bright.

He will go down as one of frustrating signings in recent Rochdale history due to his obvious talents never fully utilised.

 

Bury join Bolton in being on the brink of administration, Salford back in form and Rochdale appoint Brian Barry-Murphy

This is the EFL and Below Show, your weekly look at all the footballing action in Greater Manchester which doesn’t come from Old Trafford or the Etihad.

Manchester Football Social’s Niall McCaughan is joined in the studio by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson from the Football Manc Cave, where Bolton and Bury’s financial turmoil is a big talking point.

The lads also chat Salford’s chances of National League promotion and Brian Barry-Murphy’s appointment as new Rochdale manager as they look to stave off relegation.

Catch the latest episode here >> https://play.acast.com/s/eflandbelowshow/manchesterfootballsocial-eflandbelowshow-buryjoinboltoninbeingonthebrinkofadministration-salfordbackinformandrochdaleappointbrianbarry-murphy

The Spirit of ’98 is Long Gone, But Bolton Will Be Hoping For a Great Escape

We’ve seen some tough times at Bolton this past few years, from being relegated in 2012 into the Championship up to the liquidation hanging over their head tomorrow.

I’m not a Bolton Wanderers fan, however, growing up my uncle used to take me to Burden Park on a regular basis, and then the Reebok Stadium as it was known.

I remember being there singing the great escape theme tune back in 1998, when the Trotters smashed five past Crystal Palace to win 5-2 and give a glimmer of hope before being relegated on goal difference. The atmosphere back then was a defiant we’re all in this together – something which is the polar opposite in today’s situation.

Retro Football Cushions

A players strike ahead of a massive day for the club in court shows the discontent within Bolton. Things have soured over the course of this season after promotion at the first time of asking in League One last year.

Ken Anderson’s dealing of the club has been woeful to say the least, and from the outside looking in – It looks like a warzone.

Player power has took over, and rightly so.

Nobody would turn up to work to not be paid at the end of the month. For a football club to be in a that bad a state, that it can not pay it’s staff is a sad state of affairs.

The thing is, this chairman has come and will hopefully, and quickly go. The managers will come and go, same with the players but the fans are their from childhood to the day they die.

The simply cannot switch clubs, they can’t move on – a football club is ingrained in most families, for some it’s their sole focus of their weekend. A football club is not an option and should the worst happen tomorrow – only the fans will feel the true effect of an idiot with no good intention or know how on how to run a business.

Heartbreak for Stockport County, Rochdale’s Survival Chances and it’s Too Early to Hand Out Awards!

This is the EFL and Below Show, your weekly look at all of the footballing action in Greater Manchester from outside of the Premier League.

Niall McCaughan from the Manchester Football Social is joined in the studio by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson from the Football Manc Cave.

Stockport County were within minutes of a Wembley final in the FA Trophy but came agonisingly short in a tense affair at Edgeley Park – County commentator Chris Ridgway joins us to chat Stockport’s season so far.

Rochdale picked up a valuable 3 points at the weekend and are still in with a great shout of staying in League One for another season – and the lads fume of the premature awarding of ‘Manager of the Season’ accolades!

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