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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » COMMENT: Shouldn't Wanderers stand by Parkinson, no matter what?

COMMENT: Shouldn't Wanderers stand by Parkinson, no matter what?

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Four transfer windows, 32 new signings, one never-ending embargo and a total spend of absolutely zero: Phil Parkinson has certainly not had things easy in his two seasons with Wanderers.

Twelve months ago the Bolton boss had a medal to show for his hard work, as promotion from League One was achieved at the first time of asking. Yet on Sunday, having put every ounce of effort into keeping his team in the Championship against the odds, he had to be content with handshakes and slaps on the back.

Some may argue he was more deserving of a medal this time around. And yet there are also Bolton fans who feel Parkinson has taken the club as far as he can.

Wanderers’ revival comes to a crossroads this summer and thanks to Sunday’s Macron Miracle, the options are plentiful and exciting.

Ken Anderson has made no secret of his aim to secure foreign investment and with Championship football guaranteed, the club is infinitely easier to market. Whether he will look to sell outright, and relinquish the total control he has held since buying Dean Holdsworth’s shares last August, remains to be seen.

The uncertainty goes some way to explaining why Anderson cannot offer a definitive statement on Parkinson at present. Should new ownership come in with their own ideas, both are experienced enough football men to know change is extremely likely.

Parkinson found that out in his previous job at Bradford City, for example, where new German ownership was confirmed a matter of months before he moved on to the Macron.

A very good argument can be made, however, that Wanderers owe Parkinson and his staff a debt of gratitude for guiding the club this far with dignity.

No club had been promoted before under the same embargo cloud. And though the manager inherited a decent squad in the circumstances, they were a group completely devoid of confidence after a hellish eight months of financial problems.

Every loophole was exploited by Anderson to preserve a competitive squad when injuries hit in 2016/17 – yet the following summer the continued wrangling with his former business partner Holdsworth ensured the embargo rumbled on, impinging on the business which could be done in the transfer market.

Even after Wanderers announced they were free of the transfer restrictions, Parkinson has had to deal with the grim reality of managing a club which could not compete financially. The sale of Gary Madine – and the lack of a direct replacement – was a significant gamble, which very nearly backfired.

Bolton’s transfer business in January warrants some scrutiny. And Bolton’s struggles post-Madine perhaps provide the most compelling evidence for the anti-Parkinson brigade.

Questions have been asked about the manager’s tactical flexibility, style of play and selection policy in times of difficulty, particularly after the international break. But under-pinning most problems faced by the manager was the fact he had assembled a squad on loans and free transfers, whereas his rivals in the relegation race had not.

The success of Sheffield United and Millwall – the two clubs who accompanied Wanderers into League One this season – is often cited. Neither club has spent huge sums on players this season, yet it must be noted both have seen consistent steady investment over the last few years without the same need for wholesale cuts to the wage bill.

When judging Parkinson it must be assessed how much the club’s struggles have been affected by what he was able to recruit.

Burton survived for one season on a budget of £8m in the Championship – yet their relegation on that dramatic final day illustrated just what an unforgiving division it can be.

Parkinson may feel he deserves a pre-season of relative normality, if such a thing exists.



Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
There are a lot of fans, myself included who feel a change in style is needed, his negative and long ball style doesn't make for entertaining football. Whether with a bit of backing he can change us to a more attacking team is anyone's guess but personally i don't think he can change his ways.

Looking from the outside it would be harsh letting him go if you look at what he has achieved in very difficult circumstances but as i said the style of football is negative and even now some fans are still saying they won't cone back next season if he's still there.

I just can't make my mind up on him at the moment, maybe because us staying up has made everything look rosy for now. If he does stay and we start next season as badly as this then i don't think he would survive too long. It may be all out of his hands anyway if we get new owners or investment.


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
There are loads of opinions on whether Parky should stay on other threads, however Iles is asking "should he stay no matter what" which is a different question altogether and the obvious answer is "no".
Of the many potential factors in the equation I think the key ones are ownership and investment.
Last summer we had a steady stream of Anderson PR decrying potential investors as "unfit" in his opinion. As some people argued, he may have been right and as others suggested he couldn't find a deal that made him enough profit, but with Anderson having already stated that there are potential investors in the wings who meet his approval it's unlikely Anderson's PR team will resort to slagging them off as unsuitable now. That said, if they don't meet his valuation or have lost interest we could be in for some interesting PR statements over the summer.

But if we do somehow end up with new owners prepared to invest in the team I wouldn't begrudge them their choice of manager.
Timing is another issue and it's worrying that Anderson has mentioned talking to parky about his future with the club in the next few weeks when if there is a genuine will to sell the club I'd have thought that piece of business should be sorted first before any discussions of the manager and individual players' future takes place.

Lots of variables so "no matter what" doesn't work for me.


Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington
Like Mr Pig, I too am ambivalent about whether he should stay or go. Apart from a few dramatic minutes last Sunday this season has been eminently forgettable. The long ball style has worked for us in the past (with the likes of KD) but he had good runners alongside  of him who could profit from his knockdowns. Currently we don't have those runners nor a striker with his capacity and skill. The style might work for us again if he can attract a decent long ball specialist up top- otherwise next season will be like this-  an unentertaining ,negative series of matches ,where, if we win, it'll be by the odd goal and  with very nervous supporters. Another question is that if you get rid of Parkinson- who do get to replace him. Others on the constant merry go round- like McCarthy, or someone relatively untried with all the risks that that brings?  Going for Nolan would be a mistake as that's more an emotional reaction rather than a rational thought through proposal.
Will there be fresh investment from these notional Saudis ? You can't bank on the tooth fairy. None of them might exist .
My gut feeling is stay with Parkinson for a dozen games or so. See who he brings in and whether they perform or not. Then if its the same shambles next season as it was at the beginning of this ,then get rid in late October or early November


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Shameful that anyone would think about sacking him after survival. He should be offered a 10 year contract like Sam was now.

Loud and proud.

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