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Bolton chairman issues statement with threat to fans on abuse ‘overstepping the mark’

Bolton Wanderers chairman Sharon Brittan issues a statement by with a threat to fans on abuse ‘overstepping the mark’.

It has been warned that “vitriolic and personal” abuse which were aimed at manager Ian Evatt and CEO Neil Hart which could now see fans getting banned.

It is worth noting that it is a minority that are doing it, but this is more hassle for the club that don’t need to be had, with comments also affecting the staff, online and in person.


Dear Supporters,

​​Yesterday marked four years to the day since Football Ventures became custodians of Bolton Wanderers Football Club.

​​​​It has been an exhilarating journey which has brought promotion and a cup final victory at Wembley – and has put smiles on the faces of many thousands of Wanderers fans and helped to rebuild our status within the town and local community.

It is journey that I am immensely proud to be a part of and sharing it with you all is a privilege.

​​​​First and foremost, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for the unwavering passion and dedication that you bring to the Club. It’s what makes Wanderers special and is invaluable in creating a vibrant atmosphere both home and away.

​However, sometimes, the passion that fuels our love for the game can lead to heightened emotions during matches.

​​While these emotions are a natural part of the football experience, it is vital that they are channelled in a positive and respectful way, not only to your fellow supporters but also to the players, coaching, club staff and the CEO.

​​​​Bolton Wanderers Football Club prides itself on being a family club and being the focal point of the Bolton Family. After all, we are one club, one community, one town.

​​​​It is with this spirit in mind, that I must address some recent issues that have been brought to my attention – instances of abusive language and behaviour directed towards the manager Ian Evatt and CEO Neil Hart, which are wholly unacceptable.

​​While we understand that discussions and debates about team performance and decisions are a fundamental part of the game, it is important to remember that we have a team of talented professionals on and off the pitch who are working incredibly hard to place this famous club on an upwards trajectory.

​​​​Don’t get me wrong, we welcome criticism where it is fair and constructive – as football is a subjective game – but when it crosses the line and becomes aggressive, vitriolic and personal then we will simply not accept it. It must stop!

I wish to make it patently clear that such behaviour, whether in person, online or through any other platform, will result in action being taken by the Club which may include an immediate ban.

​​​​I completely understand that this applies only to a minority of supporters, but we need to stand together as one, be respectful to one another and put a stop to it.

​​​We will have ups and downs as the season progresses, this is the nature of our football journey, but please trust us and support us in the right way.

​​​​Last year, the Club launched our ‘OneWanderers Family’ campaign to ensure that anybody who visits the Toughsheet Community Stadium does so with their safety and comfort at the forefront of our thoughts.

​​​​With that in mind, please continue to help us by sharing any information and reporting incidents of disorder via the dedicated number: 07542 850 902 (text or WhatsApp). See It. Report It. Stop It.

Thank you for your understanding and I look forward to enjoying another exciting season with you all.

​​Yours sincerely,

​Sharon Brittan


“I think we can do better and we know we can,” said Bolton boss Ian Evatt after the 1-1 draw to Burton, a week after the 4-0 defeat to Wigan.

“I’m pleased with the way they rallied because it would have been easy after going behind to be feeling sorry for ourselves. We picked ourselves up, grabbed hold of the game and the only real frustrating thing is that it’s a game we should have won.

“We’ve banged on the door enough in the second half to win it. Dion’s obviously taken his goal really well and then we had some critical chances but that’s the frustration that we haven’t taken all three points.

“It’s a game we should have won. I don’t think, first half, we started great and for 20 minutes they put us under real pressure and we didn’t make the right decisions.

“We looked a bit nervy, which is understandable after last week as that really rocked us, and then we grew into it and got progressively better as the half went on and created one or two opportunities.

“Second half, with Rico going off isn’t ideal, and we didn’t start at all well and made a critical error inside the first minute and gave them the opportunity. To be fair, after that, we rallied and took over the game. Weve missed some really critical chances that should have put the game to bed.”

He also called for some perspective to Bolton’s start to the League One season after putting 10 points on the board already.

“We’re trying our best. Yes, we’ve had a slight dip last week and at times today but this is a difficult place to come, it always has been, and we’ll take our point and work hard to progress moving forward,” Evatt added.

“It has been a good start. I said in pre-season, there’s a complete difference between ambition and entitlement and it just feels at the minute that everyone feels a little bit entitled, given the start of the season we’ve had. Being third in the league and averaging two points a game, for me, isn’t a crisis by any means.

“We were humbled last week, we didn’t perform well enough and today in the first half wasn’t to our level. We’re working hard to be at that level and it’s a game we should have won, but we have to accept that and move on with big games on Tuesday and then against Derby on Saturday.”

Wanderers now get set to take on Middlesbrough at home in the Second Round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night before then facing Derby next weekend.

This is what Twitter users are saying as the Bolton chairman issues a statement issuing threat to fans over abuse ‘overstepping the mark’…

@JimTheWanderer1: There’s never an issue with people debating the football, what’s gone well and what hasn’t etc but there’s absolutely no excuse for personal abuse. Anyone who doubts that literally everyone at our club is working their backsides off to better the place needs their head checking

@angieabb100: In a nutshell- “Don’t get me wrong, we welcome criticism where it is fair and constructive – as football is a subjective game – but when it crosses the line and becomes aggressive, vitriolic and personal then we will simply not accept it. It must stop!”

@Don_Keoghs: Spot on, and, sadly, needed to be said. This ownership group and management team have transformed our fortunes on and off the pitch. We are building back gradually and sustainably to where we were. One bad match in that context is nothing. Onwards and upwards

@AnthonyL80: Spot on this and it’s ridiculous that Sharon’s had to say it with 5 games played and in 3rd place. Bizarre how grown men completely lose the plot especially online #bwfc

@T_jolley12303: The fact she has had to put this out isn’t great at all, you’d think we were rock bottom without a win with some of the fans reactions. We had a serious meltdown as a fan base when we got tanked by Wigan and rightly so but now it’s time to get behind the team again

@danieljb77: If your abusing evatt give ya head a wobble. Criticism of his tactics is fine but abuse after 10 points from 15 😂😂😂😂

@rowbottom_ian: I’m so glad that the powers that be notice this and I think this message is very well placed. There’s no need for it anyway, irrespective of the fact that we’re doing fine! #bwfc

@BWFCJOEandSAM: 👏👏 trust the process. IE’s name was chanted at the end of both CTFC and BAFC games. The supporters are behind him. If anyone is verbally abusing him then it is poor form and needs to stop. The aftermath of Wigan brought the worst out of our fan base but most are behind him.

@jameswhatmough1: Whoever has an issue with Evatt meet me outside subway so I can throw bread at you

@JDerbyshireBWFC: This is so spot on. I’d be first to admit I’m a part-time fan as far as matchgoing goes, so I don’t feel qualified to really comment but I could have writteb an essay about the shite I heard at Burton away. Toxic, entitled and juvenile #bwfc

@jamesbwfc22: Imagine abusing Evatt after all he’s done for us 🤣 even Neil Hart, genuinely don’t know what he’s done wrong (apart from bus issues).Club is in the best place for years & partly due to stuff he’s done. Last 2 games are cause for concern, but let’s not shit ourselves just yet #bwfc

@meanderson93: I’m sorry, is the club threatening bans to people here who give Hart and Evatt a bit of stick? Get fucked. Who’s the barometer of the nastiness? Is there an objective metric or just if one of them gets their feelings hurt? Pathetic.

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