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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Inside Wanderers: Why some folk need to look on the bright side of life!

Inside Wanderers: Why some folk need to look on the bright side of life!

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
All this fuss around Phil Parkinson’s reunion with Bradford City reminds me of a moment in one of my all-time favourite films.

Monty Python’s Life of Brian was essential viewing in my house growing up. I used to be able to recite it word for word – but the passage of time and parenthood means I’m more likely to quote Big Hero 6 or the Lego Movie these days.

For the uninitiated I’ll paraphrase the scene. The People’s Front of Judea are holding a clandestine meeting, plotting to overthrow the Roman rulers, and the leader, Reg, played by John Cleese, asks the room: What have the Romans ever done for us?

One by one, people list the ironic benefits of Roman rule: Security, wine, sanitation, aqueducts, until it’s obvious the place was better off. It’s funnier in film than it is in print, believe me. Google it if you must.

For the last week I have been peppered with tweets from Bradford City fans listing their former manager’s faults, why he’d walk out on Bolton eventually, or why they were happier now he’s gone.

Much of it is “football banter” or “footy bantz” – a curious phenomenon which allows people on social media to be as cruel or misinformed as they like, without recrimination, based on the fact we share a common interest in the same sport.

You can laugh off a lot of it. I doubt very much whether a reasonable Bantams fan would not respect the work Parkinson and his staff did in five years at Valley Parade.

After that brief spell in the Premier League a long list of big names tried to stop the rot. I remember going to Bradford with Bury not that long ago in League Two, looking up at the massive Kop and thinking ‘what are they doing here?’

My experiences of the club have always been very positive, except trying to find the ground on a sat nav; that bit I hate.

Parkinson woke the sleeping giant and gave them five great years. And if new ownership and Stuart McCall can take them on further, I say all power to their elbow. The club deserves to be playing Championship football at the least.

I am more interested in seeing if he can pull off the same trick at Bolton. And the early signs are very good indeed.

In football, whenever an influential player or manager moves on, both clubs tend to try and rationalise their decision to buy or sell.

When Parkinson took the Bolton job, the fact Wanderers had paid a pittance for a manager and his whole backroom staff didn’t scream a club who were desperate to hold on. It said to me that the ownership either wanted their own man, or wanted to save on costs. Perhaps both.

They knew of Bolton’s interest for a number of weeks and had circulated a £200,000 release clause in the manager’s contract in their local press. We now know at this end that our chairman – Ken Anderson – was playing a similar game, and having ruled out paying compensation, he announced Parkinson just 48 hours later.

The story about Parkinson leaving his successor with a skeletal squad has been repeated so often it has been passed off as fact. It was claimed only eight players were on the books – but nowhere was it mentioned that half a dozen contracts were there to be extended, or that some players were released by the owner to save on wages. But before we at Wanderers get on our high horse – some were just as guilty when Sam Allardyce moved on to Newcastle United and beyond.

All of a sudden, an element decided the architect of the most successful modern era at Bolton was a man to be derided and ridiculed. The bile spewed, at times, was quite ridiculous, and that includes some comments from a certain former chairman.

I hope Parkinson gets a good reception this afternoon. I imagine it will be a mixed bag.

In my opinion both clubs will be up there at the end of the season. But for goodness sake, please don’t let it end up in a play-off. I don’t think my Twitter account could handle it.

If Bradford fans are determined to boo, then remember – he’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy.

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