Nearly 2,000 fans made the trip to Adams Park despite huge uncertainty surrounding the game, or what players would be at the Bolton manager’s disposal.
The EFL granted permission for Preston North End’s Josh Earl to complete a loan deal until January, and for Harry Brockbank and James Weir to sign permanent contracts on the morning of the game.
Although Josh Magennis refused to travel, all of Wanderers’ other contracted players featured in a patched-up squad, beaten by second-half goals by Paul Smyth and Fred Onyedimna.
Members of the Football Ventures consortium watched the game and potential chairwoman, Sharon Brittan, spoke to players at the team hotel to reassure them about the latest delay – which at one point threatened the fixture going ahead.
In the end, Parkinson believes an emotional afternoon in Buckinghamshire underlined what new owners could be buying into.
“The supporters have got a lot of pride in their club and that was shown today by the numbers which turned out and the way they got behind the team and the club in general,” he said. “All credit to them, they were phenomenal.
“I know Sharon was here and seeing that level of support, she must have been blown away by it, really.
“If that can push the deal over the line, then hopefully it’s the trigger to get it finally done.”
Summing up a tough pre-season, Parkinson believes getting the game played at all was a positive step in the club’s recovery.
“It has been disruptive to say the least – I could list all the various scenarios but I’d be here all night,” he said.
“We are just pleased we are able to put a team out and that the club has been able to fulfil a fixture.
“Hopefully it’s now in a position to move forward because I think it would have been catastrophic not to have played this game today.
“The senior boys who were out there, credit to them, and the younger lads will have enjoyed the experience even though we didn’t get the result.
“There is a lot of hard work to be done but the lads out there today have done themselves no harm at all.
Football Ventures remain “close” to finalising a takeover, although a late alteration to paperwork demanded by a senior creditor is understood to have caused another interruption.
Parkinson was uncommitted on his own future – but believes Brittan, who has been the spearhead of Football Ventures’ most recent bid, would be a welcome addition to the club.
“It’s an incredibly complex deal and we’ve all got to understand that,” he said.
“All I can say is that Sharon came up to the hotel today, I have met her a couple of times, and whatever happens in terms of myself and the staff, going forward, I am telling you now that she will be brilliant for Bolton Wanderers Football Club.
“She is just what the club needs, she will be a breath of fresh air. But we can’t keep saying ‘it’ll happen tomorrow, it’ll happen the next day’ it has to happen now.
“It isn’t each week that goes by, it’s each day that goes by which is costing us a chance to build a squad to compete at this level.”
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