clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Liam's Column: What an absolute farce at Bolton Wanderers.

New, comments

As Wanderer's immediate future hangs in the balance, Liam vents his frustrations at a situation he believes has become 'farcical'.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

At the time of writing, Bolton with 18 hours of the High Court hearing brought upon them due to unpaid taxes, following an adjournment last month. Since then, vast assets have been stripped from the valuable football club, the most painful being the sale of the training facilities to the opportunistic Wigan Athletic.

The most staggering aspect of these actions have been the drama portrayed through various media outlets. Bids and potential buyers have instantly been labelled as 'asset-strippers' whilst their accusers pay no mind to the fact the last few months have seen Bolton Wanderers sell a hotel, offices, car-park and a training ground.

It has been widely reported that 3/4 interested parties have been negotiating for the best part of 6 months and here we are, the end in sight and nothing over the line. It has been a slow, painful decline these past years but the weeks leading up to tomorrow hearing have quite frankly been disgraceful.

The Sports Shield Consortium headed up by Dean Holdsworth have struggled to get a deal over the line despite their efforts. Questions over their funding remain although some sources have reassured the fans the money is there.

From the outside looking in (which given the transparency of the current regime is the only way to asses) it has appeared that a large proportion of brinkmanship has been constantly used. As someone who negotiates  for a living, I understand the strength this sort of tactic can have at the table and why the parties involved may use it.

However, we are not talking about a house, a car or even s 2nd hand TV on Gumtree, we are talking about a football club, which is at the heart of the proud multi-cultural society of Bolton. Putting the club's future at risk for you own benefit is simply not acceptable, it means too much to too many people and I have never felt more at odds with my love of the club than I do right now.

It was feelings of this nature that drove other loyal fans to the point of action and the Bolton Wanderers Supporters' Trust was born. A movement I feel passionate about, the trust has moved quickly despite the red-tape issues they have faced. The negativity and distrust that fans  have towards the clubs has made the Trust have to combat its own negative press.

Make no mistake, the trust is the best thing to happen to Bolton Wanderers these last five years and I only wish it had existed  sooner.  The trust is not about ownership, it is about a collective voice that can have a real effect on how the club exists. Take heart from our QuickQuid movement about how effective it can be.

As we head in to tomorrow, details emerged of some late requests from incumbent owner Eddie Davies with regards to payments and a suite named in his honour. The payments I can understand, the man is writing off enough money to fund a war. The suite request stinks of petulance, although I might be wrong, the smoke and mirrors attitude to communications makes it hard for any of us to really know what goes on behind closed doors.

Tomorrow will be a difficult day for those associated with Bolton but most importantly, it's loyal fans. Stay strong, the club is more than the commercial entity it may be on paper, it is the force that brings us together and as long as we have great, loyal and passionate fans, we will have a great football club.

On a seperate note, I send my prayers and condolences to the family of former chairman Phil Gartside. A man who cared deeply about the club, the wave of emotion from those associated with Bolton Wanderers and the football community in general, have shown the effect he had on the game in Bolton.