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Phil Gartside Exclusive - Part Two

Posted: Thu 31 May 2012
Author: BWFC Staff

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Bolton Wanderers Chairman Phil Gartside speaks to the club's official website

Published today is part two of the interview with Bolton Wanderers Chairman Phil Gartside, following on from the first instalment which appeared on the website earlier in the week.


Phil, a lot always gets made as regards the £100million debt the club has to our owner, and no more so than the end of last season.
"It does. We always hear about it and a lot gets written about what a burden it is and what impact it will have.

"Well we have a debt, yes, and it is to Eddie, but our bank debt is only £10 million which in football terms is nothing really.

"With Eddie you could call it an investment, a soft debt, in that it is what he has spent over the past 11 years funding us in the Premier League.

"We have been very fortunate to have had that backing and investment, so yes a debt, but a soft debt.

"It makes you realise how hugely important Eddie's backing is and what it has allowed us to do.

"He wants to continue backing us, which is great news for the football club."

How are we as regards the other key areas, such as kit, shirt sponsor and, of course, the stadium naming rights? That's something a lot of fans have been asking about - will it still be the Reebok Stadium next season?
"Well we have entered into a new kit deal with adidas and that's for four years.

"It made sense as they are without doubt one of the world's leading football sports brands.

"We also made a bit of footballing history as we moved on from our 22-year kit partnership with Reebok.

"To be fair, Reebok have been superb partners and we worked well together, but they were looking to focus more on fitness and other products and markets.

"That means the new kit will be available in the summer and the superstore will be having a makeover to tie in with the launch of the new training gear.

"The stadium naming rights don't change - we have a deal with Reebok right through until 2016.

"We have an excellent relationship with 188BET and so we are pretty secure there too."

So we are pretty much on track for next season, any final thoughts?
"I wish the season started tomorrow!

"We have a great club, great support and a good young manager who, as he says himself, has learned a lot from this season and will carry on learning.

"We have a young squad with lads coming through from the academy and we want more local players to make that step.

"We have had great support and, to pinch something Owen said, we want to give the fans something to smile about, and I count myself in that too."