This week the Bolton Wanderers players finally stood up for themselves. Announcing that they would not be playing in their next friendly against Chester as they still haven’t been paid.
The players issued a statement claiming that they are under, ‘severe mental and emotional stress.’ The squad have said that themselves and coaching staff haven’t been paid for 20 weeks now. They have also claimed that the administers have not offered any financial help.
The statement also revealed how the players had arrived back to preseason training with the mindset that it was a fresh start from last season. They added that this was not the case as the financial situation behind the scenes still hasn’t come to a conclusion. This has added to their stress as players, both at home in their personal lives and as they prepare to go into league one football. They finished the statement questioning how long it’s acceptable to go without pay.
The club administrators responded to the statement with their own. They claimed that the player’s statement was ‘riddled with factual inaccuracies.’ Paul Appleton said that he did appreciate the player’s point of view and understood their frustrations. He’s also added that the players do not have an understanding of the situation, and that manager Phil Parkinson has been left to explain the problems to the players. The statement also claimed that the players and staff will be paid in full as soon as the take over goes ahead.
As a Bolton fan myself, I fully back these players in their decision. I’ve said from the beginning of the problems with the club, that I don’t blame any of the players for walking away from the club or refusing to play when they aren’t getting paid to do so. No one would go to work for nothing, just like Andrew Taylor said back in April. It doesn’t matter how much you’re contracted to earn if you aren’t receiving it, it’s putting pressure on all aspects of your life.
Patience is wearing thin
Just like the players said, this problem was supposed to be sorted out by now. Bolton fans and players have been patient in waiting for the apparent new buyers Football Ventures to get the green light for the deal to go ahead. It’s been around two weeks since everyone heard that the Trotters have a takeover deal near, and now we are still in the same situation as we were at the end of the season.
I think that the statement made by the administrators is appalling as they’ve dug a bigger hole for themselves. When your players are already admitting to emotional stress and have refused to play in the preseason, don’t fuel the fire by accusing them of getting facts wrong. He then accused the players of not understanding the situation, that is their own fault. Start communicating with the players that are responsible for the football and maybe they won’t be refusing to play or making statements against their own club.
And finally, Phil Parkinson. I know that fans already are doubting him for the next season. I also can predict that fans will be on his back and blaming him as soon as we start losing games. I’ve said before that I think he should go at the end of this season but as of right now, he’s in the same position as the players. If not worse. If I was him, I’d stick around until I was paid and then I’d walk away from the club. The administrators have stated that they’ve left it to Parkinson to keep the players updated. I can just imagine his frustrations as he talks to the players knowing just as much as them and having no payment to back up his efforts.
What a sad time to be a Bolton Wanderers fan.