It’s been ages since I’ve written anything on here, I was hoping I hadn’t forgotten my login details.
This weekend would have been the final weekend of the league season, with us playing our final game before dropping into League Two at Oxford. But stuff happened, and here we are, not knowing when or if the season will restart. There has been a lot of talk in recent days, but for all of it little has actually changed. The desire is there, amongst most clubs it seems at Championship and even our own League One, but apart from an earliest date to resume training (May 16) there’s not much in terms of concrete plans.
Wanderers seem happy to play on behind closed doors if instructed, and it seems plainly obvious if the season does resume, it will be behind closed doors, and the first chunk of next season will also be likewise. There’s going to be no perfect way to solve this crisis.
“Our focus is the safety of our staff and supporters and we would therefore only support a ‘return to play’ if protocols can be put in place, and adhered to, which ensure everyone’s health is not compromised and there is no additional strain placed on the emergency services,” a message from the board on the official site read tonight.
“At times like these, there are many things which are more important than football. That being said we miss match days greatly as we’re sure you do too.”
Those two paragraphs sort of sum up what I feel – while I’d rather have full stadia that’s just not going to happen any time soon, and if there’s a way we can at least get football back in some way at some point, minimising the risk as much as possible (Can you eradicate risk completely? Probably not.) then that’s great, even if we would gain probably more than any club by declaring the season null and void.
Another aspect is the financial side, playing behind closed doors will mean we’ll be paying to stage matches without the main revenue source at this level. Whatever way this goes, lower league clubs are going to need financial help through this, and the Premier League might have to delve into their pockets to help out on that front, as Gary Neville has alluded to recently.
On a Bolton front, the same message from the board has confirmed the players and backroom staff have agreed to defer wages, as has happened at a lot of clubs. That’s good to hear, especially at our club, where the players had probably thought not getting their full wages was a thing of the past.
One last thought after reading the club statement, imagine if all this happened 12 months ago when Ken Anderson was running things. Actually, don’t imagine it. It doesn’t bear thinking…