It doesn’t seem too long ago that we were all leaving the stadium feeling euphoric after that final day victory against Nottingham Forest. On that sunny afternoon, memories were made that will last forever.
And here we are on the eve of a new season starting with the excitement building and I for one cannot wait to see the lads in action at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
Our recruitment team has been exceptionally busy over the summer and the overall quality and strength of the squad has been improved.
I’d like to welcome Luke Murphy on board who joined earlier today which brings the total of new signings to nine players.
We are still working hard on bringing in some more new faces over the coming days and before the transfer window shuts next week it should of course be remembered that we can still sign loan players up to the end of August.
A player we were interested in signing was Charlie Wyke from Bradford City. We made a six-figure offer for him which we believe accurately represented his perceived value. I am led to believe that Sunderland came in and offered a fee rising to in excess of £1.2million for him and we lost out. It is my intention to operate this football club in a sustainable and commercially prudent manner and we won’t enter into a bidding war and make the same mistakes as previous regimes. We do a lot of research in ascertaining the value of a player and we will not go over that.
It is now approaching two-and-a-half years of my tenure at the club and we are only now starting to see light at the end of the tunnel and bring to a conclusion the shambolic legacy we inherited. As you are no doubt aware some of the commercial deals the club found itself in were nonsensical and unfathomable from a commercial perspective.
For example, several agents were “consulting” for the club and costing the club in excess of £1 million per annum and I am pleased to report that with the exception of one agent agreements have now been reached and finalised. This chapter has now been closed and we move on. Going forward, agents will only be paid in line with EFL and FIFA recommendations.
If you haven’t yet already, there is still time to buy or renew your season ticket ahead of our first home game on Saturday 11 August against Bristol City. With nine new faces in the squad, a new home kit and a new stadium name, make sure you don’t miss a minute of the action on home soil. Having a season ticket is the most cost effective way and you can watch Wanderers from just £15.22 per game. Click here for more information on how to get your Bolton Wanderers season ticket. Obviously, the more season tickets we sell the more revenue we have to invest in the club and players at all levels from the academy to the first team, not to forget the fortress-type atmosphere that you all create in your numbers.
Our home and away kits are in stock and are proving to be very popular, so please visit Bolton Central or buy them online and make sure you wear your colours with pride both at the University of Bolton Stadium and on your travels.
On Wednesday, we were very pleased to announce the University of Bolton as our new naming rights partner. This will be an exciting and long-term strategic partnership which will be beneficial for both parties and we look forward to working with them.
Following on from BBC Radio Manchester signing a commentary deal with us, I’m pleased to confirm that local commercial radio station, Tower FM, will be our commercial radio partners for the forthcoming campaign.
Last month, the hotel received its record revenue for rooms and I must pay special thanks to Suzanne Speak and all her team. This is a very encouraging sign going forward and as you all know the hotel provides a vital and valuable income stream for the club. Please keep supporting them.
Unfortunately, we have not been able to negotiate with SCC/Heathcote’s on the uncommercial and loss making agreement for the club and its associated businesses and the dispute seems like it will be long lasting albeit we have issued notice to terminate the agreement for their various serious breaches of the agreement, which unfortunately are still ongoing.
The amount of the dispute was circa £100,000 and only due for payment at the end of last week; however, we were withholding payment pending them remedying their various serious breaches of the agreement. In order to be seen as trying to reach an amicable termination of the agreement, I reluctantly asked our accountant to process the payment along with any further monies falling due tomorrow and this payment has now been processed.
Unfortunately, even though Paul Heathcote is a ‘lifelong supporter of the club’ he decided to issue a winding up notice against Bolton Whites Hotel Ltd only a few days after the amount would have been due. I doubt anyone would see that as the actions of ‘a lifelong supporter’! No doubt he pays all his suppliers weekly and on time as we have to! The winding up petition will now be dismissed but I would ask everyone to consider if they want to support SCC/Heathcote’s other businesses in the light of his aggressive actions against the club.
I noted with particular interest Paul Heathcote’s comments about him being a lifelong supporter of the club. It is my impression that the club has been a longstanding financial supporter of SCC/Heathcote’s rather than the other way around.
We inherited an agreement which I can honestly say I do not comprehend how it was ever signed off by the previous regime but fortunately we are entering the final straight and even in the worst case scenario, SCC/Heathcote’s will be gone soon and we can move on with another operator on commercial terms.
Be loud, be proud and get behind the boys this weekend and throughout the season.