The financial debts that Bolton Wanderers Football Club has accumulated over the years amounts to a rather staggering figure in football terms. This debt has hampered the Trotters in recent transfer markets which has in turn hamstrung Owen Coyle's men. If a new rumor is to be believed though, the club may have figured out way to alleviate some of the pressure. Coming from the BWFC Forums is a claim that Bolton Wanderers are close to selling their Euxton training ground for the (reportedly) hefty fee of £75 million.
If you happen to be wondering where the team will train should the sale go through (or happen at all), don't worry, the team won't take practice to the pitch of the Reebok. At the moment, Bolton Wanderers hold two training properties, Euxton, where the first team trains, and Lostock, home to the academy (Development Squad). Lostock is the more updated of the two grounds, having completed some reconstruction in recent years and houses at least one artificial pitch.
Bolton Wanderers officially unveiled the Lostock facility in 2008 after a couple phases of construction were completed. The first phase created a brand new and cutting-edge offices, changing rooms, dining facilities, and physio rooms among other things. The second phase saw a new artificial pitch installed and four grass pitches perfectly manicured to exacting standards. In total, the construction cost about £3 million. When speaking about the academy at its launch, former Bolton defender Jimmy Phillips said:
"In the past, we have lagged behind the likes of Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Manchester city in terms of academy facilities -- but that's no longer the case. The development will impress potential players and parents when they see it, which can only be good."
The Euxton ground isn't exactly old but it isn't nearly as shiny as Lostock. The first team's training ground came around under the reign of Bruce Rioch. Before that, the team used to train behind Burnden Park. Rioch's goal was to give Bolton Wanderers a professional polish as part of the team's ascent to the Premier League.
"We tidied up the whole stadium. Swept the floors, painted the seats, the door frames, cleaned every inch of the place and all of a sudden I felt like something good was happening."
"We had been training in Bury but it was at that point we started to look towards a training ground, and that's when the land at Euxton came up," Rioch recalled. "It seemed gradual at the time, but when I think back now it all moved very quickly."
As Bolton move to consolidate their operations, and get rid of a chunk of debt, it looks as though they will move the whole of training operations to Lostock. This, however, is not something out of the blue as the move has been on the cards since the Lostock academy was unveiled in 2008.
What do you think: Will it be a positive move for Bolton should the sale happen or is it a step back for the Wanderers?