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COMMENT: How loyal does Parkinson stay to his survival squad?

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WITH the days of transfer embargo behind him and promise of cash to spend on the horizon, Phil Parkinson’s next move at Wanderers is bound to make compelling viewing.
Having secured Championship survival and promotion from League One without the luxury of any freedom in the transfer market, an entirely different world of possibilities could open up this summer, if all goes well.
Few Bolton supporters expect to see their team spending millions. Even as Ken Anderson announced on Monday there would be cash for Parkinson regardless of how his investment talks fare there was a healthy dose of cynicism from a fan-base who thanks to the events of the last few years, are wiser than most on financial matters.

But chairman and manager are acutely aware of the need to build on last season, and ensure that come May 2019 there is no question of Bolton Wanderers playing League One football.
Just to branch out on recruitment and move away from the free transfer market would itself be a liberating experience.
Due credit goes to all involved for getting the job done. It would be interesting to know when last a Championship team was assembled with a net spend of nil, let alone one who survived relegation. But the freebie pool is only so deep. If last season’s transfer policy was a gamble, to follow the same blueprint again would be madness.
At time of writing Parkinson is putting the finishing touches to his retained list – and it is here we will get a first real glimpse of the manager’s future plan.
Last summer we pondered how loyalty to the promotion team would affect his rebuilding. Finance, as it turned out, would have an even bigger bearing.

Jay Spearing’s controversial exit was the exclamation point on a transfer window which showed how serious Bolton were about bringing their wage bill into line. New EFL rulings on clubs in embargo also had a profound effect on the players who could be targeted realistically.
Yet the most valuable quality Parkinson has tapped into during his two seasons at the Macron could not be bought with every penny in a Russian Oligarch’s bank account.

A tight-knit dressing room with remarkable resilience did not create itself. Parkinson and his coaching staff were able to use the isolation they get at Lostock – well away from the public eye – to create a safe haven able to protect players from some of the headlines and pressures the last couple of years have thrown up.
Slowly but surely the academy base is turning into the same sort of fortress Sam Allardyce loved so much at Euxton. It lacks many of the Premier League luxuries that base once had – but it allows the manager to be king of his own castle, which is a rarer commodity than you would think in football.
And so the question comes around once again; to what extent does Parkinson stick with the players who dragged themselves over the line against Nottingham Forest?

Some negotiations have already hit the public domain – most notably Sammy Ameobi and Ben Alnwick – and others remain buried in paperwork, linked to games played last season.

But what of trusted lieutenants like Darren Pratley, Filipe Morais, Karl Henry, Derik Osede, Mark Howard, Dorian Dervite and Jem Karacan?
A raft of development squad contracts also lie in a state of flux. It would be a huge surprise to see David Lee’s title-winning squad dismantled as it was 12 months ago, but this is the time of year for such difficult decisions.

Just getting hold of players at this time of year to discuss their future is hard enough - and that explains at least some of the delays in naming the retained list. Parkinson has never been one to tell a player he is leaving the club with an insincere answering machine message.
The plan should become clearer over the next couple of days, after which some around the club believe we are in for the most interesting summer in years. Here's hoping.


Andy Walker
Andy Walker
Dorian Dervite - trusted Lieutenant? What shit.

Natasha Whittam

Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Another rehash of a story/thread done to death.

What a Summer it's going to be on here.


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I think the answer to the question is "depends on how big the squad budget is".
The squad budget depends on whether or not investors, or better still new owners get on board.
Investors/buyers getting on board depends on how big a pay day Anderson wants for his shares/whether or not Anderson wants folk to invest without getting control in return.
The bottom line of that is that our fate as regards investment comes down to how awkward Anderson wants to be.
Ergo sorting out player contracts and new signings before negotiations are completed suggests he is going to be bloody awkward and therefore not expecting loadsamoney to come into the club.
Never know though. Maybe someone is rich and daft enough to give Anderson an offer he can't refuse - but that's a long shot IMO.
If we assume that there will be no significant new investment, Parky may well be looking to renew contracts with "the survival squad".

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