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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Bolton's players go on strike after wages and bonuses remain unpaid

Bolton's players go on strike after wages and bonuses remain unpaid

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HOW did it come to this?
Bolton Wanderers, founder members of the Football League, the club who gave English football Nat Lofthouse, the Lion of Vienna, forfeiting a game because their players have gone on strike.
Today, players issued a statement to confirm they were not willing to take part in tomorrow’s friendly at St Mirren in protest at not being paid bonuses owed by the club, and at certain players not even receiving their June wage.
This sorry situation is a dishonourable, ugly stain on this great club’s history, make no mistake about it. And those responsible should hang their heads in shame.

Wanderers fans braved months of financial turmoil not so long ago, watching their club’s very existence pushed close to the edge in a succession of High Court hearings. But we were told a corner had been turned.
Promotion from League One, survival with virtually the last kick of the Championship campaign, Bolton have defied the odds for two years to correct their course. So why have fans been plunged once again into such uncertainty?
Twelve months ago Ken Anderson argued the uncertainty over his business partner Dean Holdsworth’s company, Sports Shield BWFC, was the primary reason promotion bonuses were not paid on time.
Nowadays Anderson is out on his own as the club’s sole owner. And he had intonated it would be smoother sailing from here.
Just six months ago leading goalscorer Gary Madine was sold to Cardiff City for £6million, staying in the Championship was worth circa £7m, and on Wednesday the first instalment of fans’ Direct Debit to pay for season tickets was taken from accounts. How, then, has a cash flow problem emerged at this stage?
There is no easy target to single out, as there was last year with Dean Moxey – the one player to have poked his head above the parapet to complain about unpaid money.
The full-back, who had not covered himself in glory in a Bolton shirt, was singled out and ridiculed when he complained on social media that he was still owed money from the club’s promotion.

He was by no means the only one. Non-playing staff also had to wait months for the payment to come through.
When the same situation arose last month players gave the club’s ownership ample time to rectify the situation. This was no snap decision taken on a whim.
Assurances were given from within that bonuses would be paid in the players’ most recent pay packet. But the money did not materialise and after a week training in Scotland the players met to take a drastic course of action.
There are casualties, of course. Fans who have paid good money to travel to Paisley will be left out of pocket. One can only hope the club sees fit to see them right.
Manager Phil Parkinson has once again been left hanging out to dry. Just this afternoon he was looking to secure a player on loan but what does this do to the ambitious plans he had to help the club evolve in the Championship?

Perhaps even more seriously, the EFL take a dim view over what they term ‘football creditors’ – and one wonders, given past history, what sanctions could be taken once they get wind of the latest problems at Wanderers?
Contracts are contracts. They are legally binding. It is not for an individual to decide when they should be paid – or if others should be paid first. And the collective way players have rallied together to support their team-mates tells you everything about the spirit Parkinson has created in his team and the characters he has brought into the camp.

Wanderers have form for sticking up for their own. Bolton’s legendary full-back Tommy Banks stood up in support of Jimmy Hill’s efforts to secure a minimum wage for footballers – his quip at a PFA meeting in 1961 now considered a turning point in the abolition of the old retain and transfer system, and a starting point for player power. A national football strike had been on the cards.
It is interesting to note that the statement issued to The Bolton News by the squad stated that only ‘certain’ players did not receive their June wage. This was a clear example of the group looking after the few. Whether this was a case of one, two, three or 20 players, it is the principle which counts.
Bonuses due for keeping Bolton in the Championship – and the riches that accompany the status – are a separate issue, but no less important.
We now wait to see what Ken Anderson, the PFA and the EFL have to say on current matters knowing the season’s kick-off is now only three weeks away.

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