Bolton Wanderers have had to call off their pre-season friendly at Chester after their players refused to play because they are not being paid.
It has been 20 weeks since they last received any sort of payment it’s claimed with the squad blaming “severe mental and emotional stress” for repeating the same action that meant their end of the season Championship match against Brentford never took place.
In a joint statement, they said: We regret that we are having to resort to writing another statement but we feel it is necessary to illustrate to the supporters and everyone connected with the football club the current position we face due to the ongoing problems.
“Following the news of the club going into administration, we were optimistic that the immediate financial problems surrounding the staff and players would be resolved in some way. As we understand it the administrators took full control of the football club from May 13th, including it’s day to day running, until a takeover is completed. This included the adoption of all employee’s contracts and therefore the full obligations that this entails. We were due to return to Pre Season training on June 26th but this had to be delayed as the player’s insurance policies had not been paid and the facilities at the training ground were on lockdown. There were no changing or showering facilities, drinking water for training and insufficient medical supplies. We returned to training on Monday 1st July to find that, apart from the insurance problem, none of these issues had been resolved. We have since been fulfilling our training obligations despite these problems. Some have now been resolved but the current training environment is far from ideal.
“During this period to date we have had no direct communications in any form from Mr. Paul Appleton as to the current position regarding our situation or that of the football club. We have had limited dialogue with the advisor to the administrators, Mr.Keith Cousins, but the information he has passed on has proved unsubstantiated. We are reliant on local press and social media for any updates on any progress made. This has obviously increased the anxiety and frustration that the players are feeling. The players and coaching staff have not been paid by the club for 20 weeks and the administrators have not offered any financial assistance. It is our understanding that there are sufficient funds to provide financial help immediately but there has been none. As we have stated in a previous statement, all this has caused severe mental and emotional stress, affecting both our professional and personal lives, and this has now only increased. Certain individuals are in need of support and none has been forthcoming from the club.
“With the new season looming it is becoming almost impossible to prepare correctly for the challenge ahead. Contracted players and staff have returned to what they hoped would be a resolved situation and a fresh start for everyone. They have undertook their duties and obligations with diligence and professionalism but how long is it reasonable for us to do so without being paid?”
It said: “Chester Football Club can confirm that Friday’s planned pre-season friendly at the Deva Stadium against Bolton Wanderers has now unfortunately been called off.
“The first team players of Bolton Wanderers Football Club made a statement earlier today [yesterday].
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused, and wish the players, supporters and staff at Bolton Wanderers the best of luck as they search for a resolution in a difficult time for their great football club.”
After reading the statement, fans took to praise and stick by the players’ strike plans, meaning their friendly with Chester is called off – find out what was tweeted on the next page.