Kevin Davies' appearance on talkSPORT drivetime radio was scheduled. There are no misconceptions about that. Davies was originally supposed to appear on the program on Friday, following reports that a number of clubs including Sheffield Wednesday were interested in taking him on loan. Curiously, that appearance was postponed to today. That appearance was just a few hours after Bolton Wanderers announced that Kevin Davies would no longer be with the club following this season.
The club's statement made it clear that SKD was and is a club legend and that it was made at the current time for a few reasons:
- To give Kevin Davies time to speak with other clubs regarding a move either in the current loan window (which closes on Thursday) or in the summer on a free.
- To be clear with the fans and not toy with the situation.
- To give everyone time to adjust.
The interview was lengthy and it was raw as hosts Adrian Durham and Darren Gough pressed Davies about his next steps and what things were like at Bolton Wanderers. Davies, understandably sad by situation, carried himself well throughout the interview. The hosts chose to focus on two things, in what was an apparent attempt to stir reactions up. Those two things were the fact that the announcement was made on his birthday and that Kevin confirmed that (as things stand) there would be no testimonial offered to him.
Bolton fans on Twitter and those calling into talkSPORT were upset by the interview and directed their outrage at the club, calling the actions "disgusting" and "disgraceful." It continued with the radio interview constantly hammering in the fact that it was Davies' birthday.
The decision from the club to release a statement about Davies' contract situation today was a strange one at first but following the radio appearance, it became increasingly clear why they did it. The club knew that Kevin would appear on the radio and they knew what the line of questioning would be. Bolton Wanderers made a conscious, and smart, decision to get ahead of the outrage.
Imagine the reaction if Bolton had kept quiet until after the interview, if it was Kevin Davies breaking the news about his contract and not quotes from Dougie Freedman reiterating the captain's legendary status. As things stood, it wasn't pretty, but it could have been so much worse from a public relations standpoint.