So it’s been a busy few days at Bolton Wanderers with Neil Lennon leaving the club to much rejoicing, my person glee can be seen below.
Then we had the news that Jimmy Phillips was to rake charge of the first team for the rest of the season with the aim being to bring more of our young players into the first team. That for me was met with even more rejoicing as hopefully it will give those young players the necessary grounding it hit the ground running in League One next season! Not only that but last time Phillips was appointed interim head coach we beat Bristol City in his first game, and as I will be at Ashton Gate this weekend that is something I would like to see repeated!
Then was the news that Liam Feeney was leaving on loan for promotion chasing Ipswich Town in a move which effectively ends his Bolton career. A lot has already been said on LOVS about Feeney and his departure so I won’t talk too much about that. Despite what people think of the man it can be seen that Bolton would be worse off without him quite likely and I wish him all the best for the rest of the season.
This news also came with the fact that Jay Spearing was being positioned for a loan move away from the club and that he has likely played his last game this season due to the £100,000 payment to Liverpool needed on his next appearance. Again Spearing has fought for the cause this season and I wish him well where ever he may end up.
This shows for me that Sports Shield know what needs to be done and are not scared to get on with the job at hand. There can be no debate that Bolton need to cut the wage bill down, especially with League One football next season close to a formality. Feeney is on a reported £10,000 or even £17,000 a week so is a player who needs to be moved on. Spearing is likely on around the same amount so also needs to leave.
With that in mind what would the merit be to pay Liverpool £100,000 so that Spearing could play a maximum of nine more games for Bolton? If there is the money to do that it would be far better spent buying a new player whose wages we can afford next season. Its amazing the players you can pick up for six figures in League One. Bristol City built a team which walked the division last season boosted by a number of players costing six figures from other League One sides. That’s what any money should be spent on, not on allowing Spearing to play for us nine more times.
It would no doubt have been tempting for the new owners to make the payment and get fans onside by showing they have ready cash. Resisting doing this though is exactly what good owners would do.
Not only that but what is the merit of paying Feeney wages for the rest of the season when he will not be kept on at the club? The money might as well be saved to help close the staggering monthly losses the club is enduring and freeing up funds to hopefully rebuild over the summer instead.
There will be tough decision to be made over the coming months as Bolton look to cut back to a sustainable size and it does make me a little more optimistic that Sports Shield have wasted no timing in getting the process going. There are many more decisions to be made and only time will tell if the right ones will be made. But in my view a solid start has been made to this process.