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Liam's Column: Why We Must Remain Strong as Bolton Wanderers Fans

Bolton has been in decline for some time but the past few weeks have been particularly challenging to even the strongest Bolton fan. Whilst football is not the be all and end all for a lot us it forms a big part of our social life; not only in attending matches but also for light-hearted discussion with friends and work colleagues.

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Personally, in regards to the recent plight of the Wanderers I have found it difficult to remain positive. Things continue to deteriorate and all signs coming from the club point to a further worsening crisis.

This week, beleaguered boss Neil Lennon chose to use the pre-game press conference against Charlton Athletic to sensationally suggest that players may leave for nothing if they go unpaid in December. This astonishing news is apparently due to protective clauses in their contracts.

When I first discovered Lennon had discussed this I was furious as I was shocked that Lennon would seemingly create a problem when there are so many already troubling Bolton Wanderers.

Then I thought about it further; and in my opinion, the only answer as to why he would discuss this is that it is a real possibility. It must have been discussed and I would be very interested to hear who raised the issue.

I would have thought it was the Players' Football Association (The PFA) that have raised the matter and we know through confirmation from the club of their involvement.

As far as I can see if it is not the PFA, it is likely to be the players themselves who may have raised the issue. This would be disappointing but to a degree it would not surprise me.

As fans all we can do is hope. Whilst the players may consider their own futures and careers when making a difficult decision, we need to remember that Bolton Wanderers as a club and movement must maintain it's dignity. We will not beg for favours from anyone.

As to whether they should remain at the club, I'm sure the players have a lot to consider and having the  unfortunate experience of working in a similar environment myself and choosing to leave that particular job two years ago, I understand any persons decision to leave and protect their futures.

It is not the players and the staff at the club that caused the problems at Bolton Wanderers but unfortunately it is those that are paying for it. This, sickeningly, is the way of the world and can be seen in society as a whole as the mistakes of bankers and politicians continue to be paid for by those at the bottom though tough austerity measures across the Western World.

This could not be worst timed for all those involved with Christmas round the corner and for how easy it is to be cynical about such things, I do believe there is some genuine warmth in the attempts to raise money for those likely to be struggling over the festive period although with the reported number of staff involved it's impact is likely to be minimal.

This followed an equally generous #FillTheMacron idea that grew prior to the Cardiff City game and whilst I was someone critical of the idea of buying tickets for someone else as an 'act of generosity' in time I have grown to think there is a bigger picture, a sense of community building with the supporters of Bolton Wanderers.

It is this we must hold on to whilst things seem difficult this idea that we are a movement, we are above the hardship dogging the club and we can rise afterwards as something better and something closer together, a stronger Bolton Wanderers.