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Parkinson eyes the long-term fix at Bolton Wanderers

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PHIL Parkinson hopes to put down some firm foundations when the next transfer window comes around at Bolton Wanderers.
It is now more than three years since the club’s last transfer fee, a “token” £75,000 paid out to take Celtic’s Filip Twardzik on January deadline day, 2015. And had Neil Lennon known what was to come, he might have been more frugal.
Just over £200million was spent by Championship clubs in the summer window, with a smaller chunk added last month – yet the Whites will end the current campaign as the only team who did not pay a cash fee for a player’s permanent signature.

That could have changed had bids for Charlton’s Josh Magennis or Ipswich Town’s David McGoldrick been accepted at the last moment.
But Parkinson – well aware of the financial realities at the Macron – looks forward to a time where the club can begin to build for the future, without the same concern for the present.
Bolstered by the sale of top scorer Gary Madine to Cardiff City, Wanderers’ coffers are looking comparatively healthy. And should the Whites succeed in their effort to stay in the second tier and avoid the £5-6m drop in sponsorship and TV revenue which would accompany relegation, Parkinson feels the club will be that bit closer to the level of sustainability chairman Ken Anderson has been craving.
“The club is in a stronger position now, financially, than it has been for a long time,” he said. “The wages, issues behind the scenes, have been sorted out.
“The next challenge is to become a team who can go and compete and pay fees for young players. I quote Preston and Barnsley quite a bit and that’s what we have to get to. We are not there yet.

“After that you look at the bigger teams like Aston Villa who compete for the ready-made Championship players.
“We need to develop players and maybe sell one or two on. That’s the chairman’s aim and it has been a long journey.”
Friday night’s gritty win over Bristol City typified the spirit Parkinson has looked to foster since his arrival from Bradford City 20 months ago.

Rated at one stage as 1,500/1 ON for relegation by one online bookmaker following a disastrous start to the campaign, Wanderers have taken great pride in hauling themselves back into contention.
But Parkinson is well aware there is a contingent waiting to say ‘I told you so’ if the Whites were to slip into reverse – and that, hopes the manager, should fire his side on for the remaining few months.
“People had written us off even before the start we had,” he said. “People had stopped taking bets on us getting relegated.
“We have got ourselves in the pack of six or seven teams with a lot of hard work. And the odds will have shortened yet again after Gary went, so we have to prove everyone wrong again, and that’s what we intend to do.”

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