Bolton

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recordmeister
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Bolton

Post by recordmeister » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:57 am

Surely they have to be suspended now from the FL for the season? You can’t be postponing games because of fatigue to your players (did we try that trick with Whyte last year? No) and it if the takeover happens what is to stop them strengthening their team, meaning that clubs like Tranmere will have been able to score additional goals for their ‘goals for’ column which other teams won’t have had the chance to do.

It’s a terrible and shocking situation but for the competitive balance of the league they must be withdrawn as soon as possible.

Isaac
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Re: Bolton

Post by Isaac » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:00 am

Suspend them would mean they go bust though surely, which means no club and lots of people out of a job - all for "competitive balance". I think it's better to give them every chance to turn it round, which is surely what we'd expect if it was us.

Hog
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Re: Bolton

Post by Hog » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:24 am

Seems strange they're allowed to call their own games off for 'welfare' reasons. Does that mean any struggling club with some injury problems in deep mid-winter who don't fancy an away game at the runaway leaders can cry off on welfare grounds?

OtmoorYellow
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Re: Bolton

Post by OtmoorYellow » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:34 am

Isaac wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:00 am
Suspend them would mean they go bust though surely, which means no club and lots of people out of a job - all for "competitive balance". I think it's better to give them every chance to turn it round, which is surely what we'd expect if it was us.
I'm all for giving them every chance, but this is a very high level professional competition, where the margins for success and failure are small. Any solution that does not affect all clubs equally, could result in promotion or relegation of a team that might otherwise not have done, and could potentially therefore affect the existence of other clubs, sacking of managers or other staff and so on.

The rules on entry to the competition are clear.

Bolton should be treated no differently to any other club, even if that means they go bust and have to start again in non-League, as has happened to many other clubs in history, not least of which was Accrington Stanley, and Oxford United were responsible for them being kicked out of the league, which was the precursor to their bankruptcy.

To be clear, I would much prefer Bolton to survive within the rules of the competition, but if it were a toss up between maintenance of fair competition (and the potential protection thereby given to other clubs) or Bolton's expulsion, there can be only one winner. And much as it would sadden me and I would have much empathy with the Bolton supporters, how much has their desire for success, and consequent ignoring of potential consequences, contributed to their own demise?

Isaac
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Re: Bolton

Post by Isaac » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:53 am

Games are postponed for squad sickness reasons very occasionally, this is possibly an extension of that. Although I can see why people think they're pulling a fast one, however they're pretty much shafted this season anyway.

Isaac
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Re: Bolton

Post by Isaac » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:56 am

Also, I'm not sure blaming the fans, or suggesting they've brought it on themselves is particularly fair unless you have some actual evidence.
Especially given we're very much at the mercy of our owners here, what did we lose last financial year - was it £2million? Given all the winding up orders we're not far away ourselves. I doubt any of us would be holding our hands up and accepting blame.

Radley Rambler
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Re: Bolton

Post by Radley Rambler » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:24 pm

Hog wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:24 am
Seems strange they're allowed to call their own games off for 'welfare' reasons. Does that mean any struggling club with some injury problems in deep mid-winter who don't fancy an away game at the runaway leaders can cry off on welfare grounds?
No doubt they will get a further points deduction for not fulfilling the fixture so this can't really set a viable precedent.

OtmoorYellow
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Re: Bolton

Post by OtmoorYellow » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:22 pm

Isaac wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:56 am
Also, I'm not sure blaming the fans, or suggesting they've brought it on themselves is particularly fair unless you have some actual evidence.
Especially given we're very much at the mercy of our owners here, what did we lose last financial year - was it £2million? Given all the winding up orders we're not far away ourselves. I doubt any of us would be holding our hands up and accepting blame.
Name me a single professional club where fans don’t demand squad investment and success. Just one.

I then think of clubs “like Bolton” whose fans and owners seem to think they have a divine right to be in the higher echelons of the game. We can all name those clubs where expectation is based on history rather than hard facts. Please don’t try to claim this isn’t so.

Every supporter and owner who thinks this way has to take a slice of blame. I’m not saying that all supporters behave this way, far from it, but some clubs have more fans who fit this criteria than others.

OtmoorYellow
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Re: Bolton

Post by OtmoorYellow » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:32 pm

Radley Rambler wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:24 pm
Hog wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:24 am
Seems strange they're allowed to call their own games off for 'welfare' reasons. Does that mean any struggling club with some injury problems in deep mid-winter who don't fancy an away game at the runaway leaders can cry off on welfare grounds?
No doubt they will get a further points deduction for not fulfilling the fixture so this can't really set a viable precedent.
Given the points have not been deducted in respect of previous unfulfilled fixtures, i’m Not so sure we can rely on this.

Radley Rambler
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Re: Bolton

Post by Radley Rambler » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:55 pm

OtmoorYellow wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:32 pm
Radley Rambler wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:24 pm
Hog wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:24 am
Seems strange they're allowed to call their own games off for 'welfare' reasons. Does that mean any struggling club with some injury problems in deep mid-winter who don't fancy an away game at the runaway leaders can cry off on welfare grounds?
No doubt they will get a further points deduction for not fulfilling the fixture so this can't really set a viable precedent.
Given the points have not been deducted in respect of previous unfulfilled fixtures, i’m Not so sure we can rely on this.
I think that is still pending (from last season).

Dr Bob
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Re: Bolton

Post by Dr Bob » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:29 pm

For me the main problem is simple - the FA and EFL or whoever it was should never have accepted the basis they gave for being able to fulfil their fixtures this season. It came down, as I understand it, to the sale of the hotel next to the stadium (still not completed, I believe), in a move that both looked separate from the football club and, as far as can be gleaned from the outside, would even then not reasonably have been the basis for justifying the claim that they could fulfil their fixtures. More details can be found in a number of recent articles on the ever-excellent twohundredpercent website:
http://twohundredpercent.net/

This has left them playing with two experienced keepers and a bunch of kids. It would of course be typical of the football authorities to punish the club for the mess they now find themselves in, but I for one would want to see Bolton given a bit of leeway on this. Under the circumstances, I do not see this being any part of a wedge, nor setting a precedent of any sort.

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Bolton

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:44 am

The clear difficulty* here is how the authorities deal with the issue of a club going under mid-season given the unfairness that brings to the competition. One way could be to demand that, once all promotion / relegation issues are decided, each club has to put a set amount of money into an escrow account for the following season to cover their costs in the event of a sudden financial collapse. The amount could be determined pretty easily based on an algorithm based on the previous season's wage bill, overheads and ticket revenues, allowing for inflation / deflation in the case of promotion / relegation.

That way, if a club went bust before / during the season, the Football League could guarantee player wages and overhead costs would be covered by an emergency fund to see the club through until the season's end. If the club was not a viable ongoing concern at, say, the start of April then the League could have a protocol for deciding promotion / relegation issues in such an event (eg, a relegation reprieve for the club finishing immediately below the relegation line in each affected division). It wouldn't be ideal, but it would avoid the chaos we've got currently.


* That's not to ignore the bigger, structural difficulty of incompetent regulation. The Football League have spent years arguing that they're "just a competition organiser" rather than a regulator, yet the current situation with Bolton and Bury demonstrates that they can't successfully organise a competition without also regulating some of the sh*tehawks who seek to run clubs. Football needs a proper independent regulator to ensure these problems don't happen again - if you agree with that statement, I'd urge you to sign the petition making precisely that call.

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Bolton

Post by Kernow Yellow » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:34 am

I don't really buy the argument that it's unfair if some clubs gain an advantage from facing a weakened Bolton team. It's up to Bolton what side they put out, and teams' fortunes can fluctuate wildly over the course of a season with new signings and injuries. The transfer window hasn't even closed yet. However, they can't then go about not fulfilling fixtures without some kind of sanction. Their concerns over player welfare might be laudable, but it's their mess which they need to take responsibility for, even if the supposed solution is out of their hands at the moment.

I suspect that this kind of thing will become more common though, as it just highlights the precarious nature of football club finances at this level - not least our own. I bet we've got more overall debt than Bury...

Jimski
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Re: Bolton

Post by Jimski » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:29 pm

My view is we should have solidarity with the fans of clubs such as Bury and Bolton. Owners treating the clubs as virtual footballs to be kicked about as they please are bad for the game as a whole. I remember with pride the days of Fans United when fans got together for clubs such as Brighton, Doncaster and Barnet. I also remember when Oxford were in deep financial trouble pre-Kassam, one of the most satisfying things was solidarity with fans of other clubs that were in similar trouble at the time - Portsmouth in particular spring to mind.

No fan should be hoping for anything but "leniency" from the EFL. After all they are the ones who let this happen through their allowing such owners into football. Of course they shouldn't let the clubs (= fans) take the fall.

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Bolton

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:33 pm

Jimski, I think we'd all agree with those sentiments.

The difficulty though is that Bury in particular may be simply unable to complete (or, technically, commence) their season whilst Bolton will be doing so with one arm tied behind their back, and it then falls to the Football League to deal with the impact on the competition as a whole. I don't envy them having to arbitrate in that scenario* in order to preserve the integrity of the competition. They've clearly done their best* to give the two clubs every chance to compete, but they cannot postpone games indefinitely.

No-one wants to see Bury and Bolton go bust - apart, perhaps, from the scumbags running the two clubs, and possibly some Premiership chairmen who sense an opportunity to further the B Team agenda. But if they lack the finances, players and infrastructure to compete, the knock-on impact will then have a deleterious effect on other clubs in Div 3.

* Notwithstanding the points made in my footnote above about the fact that the Football League should never have allowed such owners to take and retain control of the clubs concerned.

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