As manager Dougie Freedman is active in the transfer market strengthening the squad for their second consecutive year in what is now the SkyBet Championship, Chairman Phil Gartside is optimistic for the year ahead. After years of overspending and low revenue, Bolton found themselves once again in the red last year. It was reported that the club owed up to £136.5million worth of debt to owner Eddie Davies.
In an interview in the Bolton News: Gartside discussed the situation:
"We are very lucky to have Eddie Davies who has put a massive amount of money into the football club over the last few years.
"Contrary to what people say, we rely on his generosity but he has also structured it in such a way that we have very little bank debt."
The chairman seems confident that the club is in no real financial peril. With the likes of Portsmouth and Heart of Midlothian going into administration and, in hand, down the divisions, manager Dougie Freedman has to be careful. He has been working hard over the past year trying to force the high earners out of the Reebok with the likes of Martin Petrov and Ivan Klasnic departing, coupled with a restructuring of others' contracts, he has managed to halve the wage bill.
"We are not under pressure from banks.
"It is tough outside the Premier League that is for sure.
"The parachute payments help because they cushion the blow but they don’t solve the problem."
With Freedman’s shrewd spending this window the club seem to be heading in the right direction. More emphasis has been added to look at younger, cheaper alternatives. And with Alex Baptiste and Marc Tierney both coming in on free transfers and Jermaine Beckford costing a minimal fee, Freedman seems to have things under control.
"We have done okay in the last few weeks and have got some younger players in, along with a couple who add a bit of experience
"We have got to get our finances in order now – but we are getting there."
In comparison to other clubs’ finances ours are poor, but it’s not all bad. Bolton's debt figure is staggering but not even close to the end of the world. Freedman and Gartside look to be taking serious steps forward into improving the clubs future financially. Revenue is still a problem for Wanderers and while the drastically lowered costs should help the issue, the fastest way to ease our financial worries would be a return to the premier league.