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Club News

A note from the Chairman

11 May 2017

Ken Anderson addresses the club's supporters on a number of topics

In relation to the recent news about winding up petitions being issued against the Club and Burnden Leisure, I would like to be as open and transparent as possible. 

Firstly, for the record, the SCC winding up petition referred to in the media was paid and settled some time ago. SCC are paid up to date including the final game of the season. 

It is important to note that the dispute at the time wasn’t solely about money owed to them but their obligations under a capital contributions agreement.

We now have a good working relationship with SCC and recently signed off a £150,000 Pure Bar refurbishment programme with them commencing in June as well as other capital contributions for the business.
 
The Burnden Leisure winding up petition has also been dealt with. The club HMRC winding up petition is currently being dealt with and has been delayed because of the complications of the BluMarble action against Dean Holdsworth’s company Sports Shield BWFC. 
 
I am, as previously stated, optimistic on the outcome of both of these matters. 

I would also like to reiterate that when required to do so, l have personally financially funded the club in the past and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future as I did with last month’s salaries and other creditor payments.
 
I was disappointed to read the statement issued by the Supporters' Trust this morning. I received a text message from them at 10.48pm last night asking for my comments. Despite me attempting to contact them at 7:43am this morning, they went ahead and issued it before I had chance to speak with them.
 
I think it is unfair and without foundation to say that the club has 'lurched from one crisis to another.’ l would say that based on where we were on and off the pitch at the end of last season, when no one gave us a chance of surviving, let alone being automatically promoted at our first attempt, all in all it has been a successful year for the club, its players, staff and supporters. 
 
It is true to say that the Supporters Trust have made offers to assist financially but it has always been with various covenants and equity demands. 

As an example, we recently asked if they could assist us in funding some works the manager had requested on one of the pitches at the training ground to bring it up to the stadium standard at a cost of circa £140,000. 

They responded they would give it consideration in return for 10% equity in the club and board representation. This of course was politely declined. 

They did also say that they did not currently have the funds to assist in any case and would need to petition their members for the funds and approval. 
 
I have never said outside money is not required. Indeed, l have always made it absolutely clear that we would welcome new equity funding on the right terms and are currently holding discussions with potential investors along these lines.  

If the Trust believe they can assist in bringing new equity to the club on commercial terms then my door is always open for further discussions. 
 
I write these notes following confirmation that five players will officially leave the club when their contracts expire on June 30, with one other being given the opportunity to speak to interested parties.
 
The end of the season always comes with a tinge of sadness and difficult decisions have to be made in relation to releasing players, while it has been made even harder this year in the sense that they have helped us to achieve promotion.
 
You have to think with your head and not your heart however and I am sure you will all join me in wishing the players who will be leaving us, both first team and development-wise, the very best in their future endeavours. 
 
With them leaving, it will allow us to recruit new players in the summer and in the past few months, there has been a lot of hard work, long hours and travelling put in by our scouting department to ensure that we are competitive in the Sky Bet Championship next term.
 
We are also looking to negotiate with a number of out-of-contract players and their agents in the coming weeks to ensure that our first team and youth sides are as strong as they can possibly be come August.
 
While it was important that we savoured the success of our promotion, it is now time to move on and focus on next season and I am holding meetings with the management and recruitment teams looking ahead to the new campaign and what we will require to make sure that we are there or thereabouts come the end of 2017/18.
 
These meetings will continue throughout the summer as we continue to strengthen the squad. 
 
We must not underestimate the difficulty of the challenges which lie ahead of us and the Sky Bet Championship has certainly moved on in our year away from the division, particularly in regards to the relegated teams coming down from the Premier League alongside television monies and parachute payments.
 
With the capable and fully focused management team and supporter base we have here at the club however, I believe that we will be in a very strong position to compete next season.
 
Our recruitment meanwhile will be based on a sustainable financial model both on and off the pitch with a view to putting the recent financial problems well and truly behind us in the not to distant future.  

I am currently actively working on assisting in the refinancing of the Sports Shield BWFC/BluMarble loan and the refinancing of Whites Hotel. Alongside this, we are negotiating raising additional equity investment as well to ensure that we will have a competitive squad but at the same time, not repeating the mistakes of the past. 
 
As I have said previously, we must now grasp the opportunity to put the club in a sustainable financial position and this is the challenge for everyone involved with the club. 
 
Although it will not be easy, it is without doubt an achievable task, but in the short term it will require a great deal of prudence and hard work in targeting additional revenues through commercial and sponsorship opportunities and controlling and reducing the unnecessary and excessive expenditure commitments from the past alongside ensuring we continue to get our supporters through the turnstiles and behind the team as they did all last season. 
 
There is also a great deal of work going on behind-the-scenes at Macron Stadium and up at the training ground at the moment to ensure that our facilities remain at the high standards we have maintained during our year in Sky Bet League One.
 
We were delighted meanwhile to announce a pre-season fixture against Stoke City on July 29 earlier this week. We are very pleased to have been able to secure top-flight opposition and their quality will allow us to judge where we are ahead of our league campaign which will kick off just a week later.
 
We have already had a large number of supporters sign up for 2017/18 season tickets, while I am sure that we will be welcoming many more of you to Macron Stadium come August.
 
The club’s early purchase deadline is on June 10 and I hope you will all take advantage before this date to get the best possible price for following the team as we return to the second tier of English football and play your part in ensuring that we can recruit the highest calibre of players possible within our means.
 
Please visit Bolton Central in person, phone 0844 871 2932 or CLICK HERE to sign up and be a part of history with us once again.
 
Finally, I have been pleased to see many of you pre-ordering our promotion commemorating book ‘Wanderers Return’ and also submitting your logo designs for our 20th anniversary here at Macron Stadium.
 
I have always been a huge advocate of making you, the supporters, feel as though you are part of the fabric of the football club as, after all, without fans, there would be no Bolton Wanderers.
 
To pre-order the book and have your name printed on the Roll of Honour, please CLICK HERE and order before 5pm today while for more details on our logo competition, CLICK HERE.
 
Thank you once again for your continued backing.
 
Kind regards,
 
Ken
 

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