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5 things Bolton’s new owners must address after taking charge
Bolton have avoided the threat of liquidation, but they still have problems to sort on and off the pitch.
The sale of Bolton to Football Ventures (Whites) Limited was completed on Wednesday, meaning the Sky Bet League One club can start planning for the future again with the threat of liquidation avoided.
Joint administrator Paul Appleton excitedly stated it was a “fresh start with owners who will run the club for the good of the supporters and the community as a whole” in a club statement.
While plenty of hard work remains, the fact the club have survived is a huge boost to everyone at Bolton, especially when contrasted against Bury being expelled from the English Football League this week.
Here, the PA news agency looks at the key issues Football Ventures (Whites) Limited need to tackle to ensure the club remain in League One.
Appoint a new manager
Phil Parkinson resigned as Bolton manager earlier this month and Jimmy Phillips stepped up on an interim basis.
He oversaw Saturday’s 5-0 defeat to Ipswich but no doubt plans will already be in place to appoint a permanent boss.
Former Wanderers captain Kevin Nolan is an option and guided Notts County to safety from a precarious position in League Two before he was sacked by the Magpies.
Keith Hill has also been mooted as a potential candidate alongside Phil Brown, who has a strong affiliation with the club.
Improve the squad
Bolton have been forced to field youth-team players during the first few weeks of the season and the scheduled League One match with Doncaster on August 20 was postponed after Parkinson voiced concerns over player welfare.
Wanderers are set to make a flurry of signings in the coming days, with the Bolton News reporting that experienced pair Jack Hobbs and Gary O’Neil are set to complete moves ahead of Saturday’s encounter at Gillingham.
Even without a permanent manager, if Bolton can add some much-needed experience to the group it will aid their efforts of beating the drop this season.
Take the pressure off the youth-teamers
The team Bolton put out for the home fixture with Coventry on August 10 was the youngest ever side fielded by the club.
In a heroic effort, the inexperienced XI secured a goalless draw but since then they have suffered heavy defeats against Rochdale, Tranmere and Ipswich.
It is therefore vital the teenagers involved in the first-team set-up this season are allowed to drop back out of the spotlight and develop after such a demanding couple of months.
Start winning games
Bolton have struggled to win regularly for a lengthy period of time since promotion back to the Sky Bet Championship was confirmed in April 2017.
While Parkinson’s team survived initially in the second tier, last season brought relegation and now they must prevent another occurring.
Handed a 12-point deduction for this campaign in May after going into administration, the Whites were always going to face a tough battle to survive.
What has unfortunately aided their cause is the fact Bury have been expelled from the EFL and so only three teams will go down from League One. Southend, Accrington, Wimbledon and Gillingham have all failed to win in the league so far, meaning Bolton are only a handful of wins away from those clubs.
Reward loyal staff and fans
Several players and staff have left Bolton due to their financial problems, but those still at the club can hopefully look forward to a bright future.
Given the amount of wages unpaid over the last few months, many will simply hope for normality and to not fret about whether owed monies will be in their accounts on time.
What the aforementioned players and staff need is stability and no doubt Football Ventures (Whites) Limited will provide it, but those contracted to the club will want actions in the coming months and no more broken promises.