Saturday sees us take to the field for our final pre-season fixture when we play Peterborough United at the ABAX Stadium.
The game will be a good test for the manager and players as we prepare for the Sky Bet Championship opener against West Brom the following weekend.
We are still actively looking to recruit several new additions to the squad before then and as ever we shall let you know immediately once the deals have been done and the paperwork completed.
There has been speculation within the media and social media about our pursuit for strikers, and I can confirm that we have made six-figure bids for two different players.
At this stage we will not be making any further offers on these players and we shall consequently widen our search.
Throughout the pre-season we have had a number of players on trial with the club, some of whom you will have read about in the news and on social media.
Having these players train with us and playing in some of the friendlies provides us with an opportunity to take a closer look at them and to better assess how they will fit into our structure. It does not necessarily mean we are going to sign them. The key criteria is will they strengthen the squad and fit in with the other players?
From Day One I have always made it clear that I will operate this club in a commercially prudent manner and I won’t be making the same mistake that other clubs do and pay players excessive and unsustainable salaries.
Despite whatever pressure is placed upon us, if we miss out on players or get outbid, I will not deviate from the valuation we have put on the player whom we have targeted.
One thing which has frustrated me over the last couple of seasons was the player loyalty/signing on bonuses that we had to pay out which were circa £500,000. These are part of the legacy we inherited from the previous regime and I do have to question whether or not it is the best thing for football going forward.
Football needs to be practical when it comes to the financials as a whole and, as I often keep repeating, when it comes to recruitment we will only pay a club and a player what we believe their value to be worth and we can afford within our present budgets.
For instance, some of the players who were out of contract and left the club over the last two summers – who may have been offered new deals on more realistic terms - have ended up earning significantly less and playing at a lower level.
Of course, we thank them for their service with the club and wish them all the best, but it just goes to show that there can be a chasm in what they or their agents perceive their value to be worth and what is actually a more sensible and pragmatic proposition. I wish some of them had been more realistic in their demands and maybe we would have been able to retain them.
You may have seen some reports in the media concerning a bid for one of our players. I can indeed confirm that this was the case and it was immediately rejected.
Of course every player has a value and if we believed a player leaving was in the best interests of the club then we would consider an approach, but I want to emphasise that we are not proactively looking to sell the player in question who remains a key and vital member of the squad.
As part of my open and honest approach with you all, I just wanted to update you on matters concerning investment.
All discussions with potential investors have now been terminated and, with the exception of one potential investor who has now recently purchased a club in the Middle East, none of the other three parties who expressed an interest were able to produce genuine evidence of funds.
One locally based party produced what appeared to be a fake bank statement and we are currently taking legal advice to pursue an action against them and their professional advisors.
Although I’d personally like to name and shame them, at this stage we are not able to do so due to legal reasons.
I want to make it absolutely clear that each of these four parties directly approached us looking to invest or to buy the club. At no point have we sought to proactively seek investment or market the sale of the club. Furthermore, no one has been appointed to sell the club.
The new away shirt has proven to be very popular judging by the fantastic images posted on social media and in terms of sales it has been the club’s best seller in recent times. Please do not hang around if you are looking to buy them as they are flying off the shelves. You can order on line by clicking here.
With the season less than a fortnight away, there is still time to renew or buy your season ticket and benefit from the great match by match savings that they offer. Please click here for more information on how to get hold of a Bolton Wanderers 2018/19 season ticket.
I’m delighted to report that we have agreed a deal with BBC Radio Manchester so that they will be able to commentate on our home and away matches this coming season. As you know Jack Dearden has been reporting on the club for many, many years and we are all looking forward to working with him and the sports team once again.
Next week, we will be revealing our new stadium naming rights partner, so please stay tuned to the club’s communications channels for this significant announcement.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the club’s Turnstiles Manager, Keith Entwistle, who sadly passed away last week. Keith, a lifelong fan of the club, started selling programmes as an 11 year-old back at Burnden Park in the 1960s and worked in several matchday roles for over 50 years. Keith will be missed by everybody at the club and our thoughts are with his wife Denise and his children John and Jessica.