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Phil Parkinson hopes club can rebuild reputation

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Phil Parkinson hopes new ownership can help restore the good name of Bolton Wanderers Football Club within the game.

Still coming to terms with a whirlwind Wednesday, which had seen the club move from the jaws of administration to the hands of Laurence Bassini in a matter of hours, the Bolton boss admitted he did not know what the future held for him, or his players as he looked forward to a Good Friday clash with Aston Vila.

Parkinson and Wanderers could be 90 minutes from relegation – but keen to look at the bigger picture, the prospect of rebuilding a standing in the game wrecked by the chaotic reign of Ken Anderson was clearly something clearly playing on his mind.

In fact, the manager believes the general public only know half the story.

“There have been a lot of problems going on at the club – some people know about, some we are probably best off keeping to ourselves,” he said. “All I can say is that I have been involved in football for 35 years and I have never come across a situation like this one.

“It is important for people to move on now. It can be a bright future. You have to give the new owner credit for stepping up.”

Though plenty of questions still remain on how and why former Watford owner Bassini jumped in to buy a club hurting towards administration when he did, there was an undeniable sense of release around the stadium yesterday.

Staff whose spirit had been crushed under Anderson’s haphazard hand were smiling again – and Parkinson also noted a spring in the step of his players, even though they remain unpaid for the time being.

The effect of having a new man at the helm should not be underestimated, and nor – claims Parkinson – should the fact Wanderers have avoided administration.

“Mentally, everyone has to look ahead with new ownership,” he told The Bolton News. “Everyone has to welcome him into the club because 24 hours ago it looked like it was going into administration. That wouldn’t have been great for people who work here but also the points deduction next year.

“The club has to go through a process of building its reputation back up in the football world – that’s dealing with clubs, building relationship back with them, agents as well. We haven’t paid any of them over the last few years and you need to have a relationship with them to work with you in football.

“The whole credibility of the club has to start to be rebuilt.

“That is going to be over a period of time but it can be achieved quite easily.”

In Bassini’s own words there is a “lot of mess” to clear up, and part of that will be to decide what remedial work needs to be done on the playing and coaching side of the club – an aspect almost overlooked in the drastic financial problems which have accumulated in the last seven months.

“It’s a huge challenge for him (Bassini) but if he can focus on rebuilding the name of Bolton Wanderers back up to what it should be, it’s important for all our supporters,” Parkinson said.

“The club has had so much bad press over quite a long period of time. Now is the time to get it back again because this is a great club.

“I’ve said many times around prospective takeovers that this is a fine club, a great stadium, facilities etc – and there’s a lot to look forward to.”

Though relegation may now be inevitable, Parkinson believes his players still have something to prove over the course of the next four games.

The full story of the problems faced by managers, coaching staff and players is yet to be completely told but can remain so until the campaign is complete.

“We have had a difficult season, everyone knows that,” he said. “I don’t want to go into too much detail at this stage but it’s now a case of concentration. Can we finish the last four games and come out with some decent performances.

“We have said over the last few weeks that we have to be realistic because of the league position and work towards finishing it as best as we possibly can.

“We start with Aston Villa, there will be a lot of people coming up from the Midlands so I expect there will be a cracking atmosphere.

“We need to put in a credible performance.”



Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
Ken was a right T#*T but your great Lawrence, Nudge Nudge, wink wink Mad Mad Mad

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