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26th Apr 2019

Bolton players go on strike over missing wages for two remaining Championship fixtures

Bolton players have gone on strike for their remaining two Championship fixtures over unpaid wages as the club falls deeper into financial ruin

Reuben Pinder

‘We have decided not to fulfil our remaining fixtures unless we are paid’

Bolton Wanderers’ players have decided to go on strike until they receive the wages they are owed and could miss the club’s remaining two Championship fixtures.

The club currently sit 23rd in the Championship, just four points above Ipswich. The club that once reached the heavy heights of European football under Sam Allardyce will spend next season in the third tier of English football, having slid down the pyramid due to financial troubles.

The players have not received their wages for March and the money they are owed for April does not appear to be coming this pay day.

The Bolton squad is no stranger to protesting against its employers, having refused to train for two days after March’s wages were not paid on time.

They are due to play Brentford this Saturday and Nottingham Forest the following week but both matches could now be called off if Bolton do not resolve the situation.

A statement from the Bolton players said: “The long running financial crisis at our club has been well documented. As has the fact that we, the playing staff have yet to receive our March salaries.

“Five of our coaching staff are also yet to be paid for March. We have endeavoured to continue our training and playing commitments during this extremely difficult time, with seemingly no resolution in sight.

“We thought that the prospective takeover of the club would provide a solution, but difficulties in its completion has left us no further forward.

“This situation is creating mounting mental, emotional and financial burdens for people through no fault of their own. The mental pressure has affected some people to the extent that they feel they are unable to perform their jobs sufficiently.

“These are unprecedented circumstances and are affecting every aspect of our lives, placing great strain on ourselves and our families.

“During this time we have remained patient in hope of some explanation but information from the club has been extremely limited and very confusing. What we have been told changes constantly. With deep regret we have decided not to fulfil our remaining fixtures unless we are paid.”

“We understand that this will disappoint our fans and for this we sincerely apologise. We realise this may be seen as drastic action but we feel we have no other options left. This decision has not been taken lightly and is not a reaction to this one particular incident.

“We have suffered numerous issues this season, and recent season. Brought on by the mismanagement of this club. We have been operating in a near untenable environment for some time and it is the accumulation of these issues that have resulted in our decision.”

After a miserable few years under the ownership of Ken Anderson and various partners, former Watford chairman Laurence Bassini agreed to buy Bolton Wanderers this month, subject to approval from the EFL.

He has vowed to pay outstanding bills, including players and coaching staff wages, but the delay has put the players in a position where they feel it’s necessary to strike.