What a slow painful death it turned out to be. Many have been of the view that we have been down since October but I don't necessarily buy into that. Personally, I managed to keep hope until Neil Lennon was chopped at which point I felt we threw in the towel. I was of the opinion we did this a little early although it would have taken some turn around and I can understand the reasoning.
The season for me represented something far more disappointing. The end couldn't come quick enough as with each passing week I felt I more disconnected with events at Bolton Wanderers both on and off the pitch.
For the players on the pitch the main issue was simple, we just kept on losing, I don't think we were particularly bad a lot of the time, we just simply couldn't get results. I'm of the view it is the lack of fire power that ultimately cost us but without investment it's difficult to recruit in this area, regardless of the manager.
In hindsight I probably would have liked to have seen Stephen Dobbie more, I think he has shown himself to be 'the best finisher at the club' as described be Lennon and if this meant pushing Zach Clough into the midfield, where he will probably end up anyway, then so be it.
Clearly, with a team that finishes bottom of the league there are numerous failures on the pitch and I'm not going to get into each and every one too much but I will say Darren Pratley, you were fucking awful and I would be shocked if another Championship club would be interested in you; if they are, go before they research you properly and change their minds.
The most troublesome aspect of the season were the events off the pitch. Our off the pitch dramas continue to rumble on. After previous 'benefactor' Eddie Davies finally released control of the club. This was not before some serious brinkmanship that jeapordised the long term future of the club from both sides. It was sickening to watch from afar as something which means so much to so many was haggled over like a 1999 Ford Escort found on Gumtree.
Once it was all done and Bolton were some notable assets lighter, Bolton fans were handed surprised news as the long-term favourites for the takeover Sports Shield went into bed with Ken Anderson, who assumed the role of chairman. There have been reports of disharmony coming from Bolton in regards to the new board but I'm not sure this is anything to worry about. I'd rather have a room full of people with different ideas than simply the same one.
Anderson in particular has shown a ruthless streak. There have been some serious cuts at the club which have hard at the fabric at the club whilst Anderson maintains they are necessary evil. He has also taken the huge step of releasing 16 players who featured in the Wanderers first team this season when their contracts expire on June 30th. There are some notable names on that list which will be analysed further in pieces by my colleagues.
The management situation continues to rumble on as Wanderers targets continue to sign for other clubs. It is difficult really for me to say who I really want. I think from the off I signaled out Gary Bowyer as my choice and I think I am going to stick with Bowyer although with the embargo still looming - I'm not sure how easy it will be to hire anyone!
In regards to next season, I hold no real expectations. With Friday's news regarding the release of the first team en masse it is hard to imagine exactly what team will line up for Bolton or indeed who will be leading them. I'll reserve my hopes and expectations for the beginning of August, provided our famous club survives that long ...