Tag: Bolton Wanderers

Phil Gartside Is Unwell – The Continuing Decline Of Bolton Wanderers

This season, it can be said without too much fear of contradiction, has been a disastrous one for Bolton Wanderers. On the pitch, the team has managed just one win in all competitions – against Wolverhampton Wanderers, a little over two months ago – and sits one place off the bottom of the Football League Championship, having also been knocked out of the League Cup at the first hurdle, at home by League One Burton Albion. Manager Neil Lennon has been unable to arrest the team’s torpor, and the team returns from this international break with only the dismal...

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On Financial Fair Play & Legal Threats

It was always likely to only be a matter of time before somebody issued a legal challenge to somebody’s Financial Fair Play rules somewhere in this country. After all, the acquisition of debt has become one of the defining characteristics of football in this country from the very top of the professional game down in recent years. Indeed, in some respects it might be even considered a tradition – English football clubs have been using their financial muscle to crowd out their rivals since before the Football Association’s rules even allowed players to be paid to play. The challenge to Financial Fair Play is being made to the Football League and it’s coming primarily from the Championship, although reports have been conflicting on how many it might be, with the Guardian not giving the exact number of clubs behind it all (although they did name  Leicester City, Queens Park Rangers, Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers as being amongst the main movers behind it), whilst the Daily Mail went a step further and made the claim that ten clubs from the Championship and one from League One were involved in it all, although they only added the name of Bolton Wanderers to that given by their rival publication. The Guardian’s list of clubs came from “Championship sources,” and there is little reason to question it. The notion of Financial Fair...

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Bolton Wanderers: Tales From The Gartside

If New Year’s Eve is a day to bury bad news, then New Year’s Eve 2013 was a day for football to bury very bad news indeed. Chelsea received the denunciation of a cynical football press for revealing their latest ludicrous losses, producing only part of their results and doing so on New Year’s Eve. Under all that attention, any non-EPL club’s results seemed destined for the “news-in-brief” section, if they were considered newsworthy at all. The problem with the latest results from Burnden Leisure PLC, Bolton Wanderers’ parent company, was that the figures were just too big and too deep (in the) red to be buried. The Bolton “record debt” story is becoming a traditional annual event for football finance writers. When this site visited the Whites’ finances in 2010, the club were a “record” £93m in debt, placed there by a thumping annual loss of £35.4m.  Since then, of course, Bolton have been relegated and debt records have continued to fall. Last year, Burnden Leisure and club chairman Phil Gartside broke some sort of straw-clutching record when he said that “for the second year running we have reduced our losses.” There was to be no hat-trick, with BL losing (ulp!) £50.7m in the 12 months to June 2013, outstripping Chelsea by £1.3m. These figures brought two quotes to mind – well, three if you include the short...

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Bolton Wanderers’ Long March Back

It has become something of a cliché in recent years to suggest that the Football League Championship is rather more difficult to fall into than it is to get out of in an upwardly direction. There is a swathe of clubs in this division who have found this out to their cost, and amongst those currently experiencing this is a club that spent thirteen of its previous seasons living the high life in the Premier League: Bolton Wanderers. It seems reasonable to say that Boltons relegation at the end of last season was something of a surprise. Bolton had stabilised in the top division, with only occasional flirtations with the Premier League trapdoor and four consecutive top ten finishes between 2004 and 2007. Last season, however, the wheels fell unexpectedly off the wagon and Bolton dropped back into the often unexpectedly tricky world of the Football League Championship. Whenever this happens, it is widely anticipated that the manager behind this drop will find himself without a job, but Owen Coyle found himself clinging on at The Reebok Stadium. Such faith, however, comes at a price, and the price for Coyle was the implicit understanding that the club would be required to have a strong start to life in back in the Football League. It is fair to say that this didn’t happen. That his team dropped out of the...

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