Bolton takeover delay forces match postponement over player welfare issues

Bolton Wanderers

August 20 – The demise of one of the most iconic clubs in English  football who were in the Premier League only seven years ago has taken another damaging turn with Bolton Wanderers forced to postpone tonight’s match against Doncaster Rovers in the third-tier League One.

Bolton have been in administration since May and their manager Phil Parkinson has been forced to play teenagers in their opening games, including Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at Tranmere for which he had only three fit senior players.

Parkinson said Bolton had emailed the English Football League before the match to express concern that their younger players were being asked to play continually because the club are not allowed to sign players.

The message has got through with tonight’s game called off because of welfare concerns.

A statement on behalf Paul Appleton, the joint-administrator, said: “It is with real regret and a deepening sense of frustration that we have been forced to postpone the fixture against Doncaster Rovers.

“Whilst the threat of further EFL sanctions is obvious, nothing can be allowed to impact on the welfare of such a young group of players. With so many senior players injured or unavailable, the squad has performed heroically and deserves so much credit.

“But after consultation with the club’s medical staff, it is obvious that to call on them for another match without an adequate break would be detrimental to both their welfare and development, which cannot be allowed.”

The club looked set to being taken over by the Football Ventures Consortium who appeared to have beaten off a bid from online fashion chain BooHoo, but that takeover has been delayed after previous preferred bidder and former Watford owner Laurence Bassini won a court injunction claiming that there had been a breach of contract by club owner Inner Circle Investements over the Sale and Purchase Agreement Bassini had signed to buy the club in April.

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