On Saturday we welcome our neighbours Wigan Athletic to the University of Bolton Stadium as we return to home soil after what seems like an age.
There is no hiding from the fact that our recent results have been disappointing for all concerned but now is the time for everybody to stick together and to get behind the team as one as we attempt to improve our results.
We’ve got the tools to do this and with you all getting behind the team this Saturday, against our local rivals, then I am sure you will lift the players and inspire them to put in a performance that will hopefully get us back on the winning track.
I know that looking at the league table at this moment doesn’t paint a pretty picture in terms of our position, but we are on the same number of points as three other teams and the gap between us and a mid-table place is not insurmountable if we go on a positive run of results. Looking at the Goals Against column in the table the amount of goals we have conceded is not too dissimilar to many of the other clubs; however, the Goals For column is letting us down but I believe goals will come as we are continuing to carve out chances in the games.
After 19 games last season, we were at the bottom of the table with 13 points and it was around this time that we went on that great run, so please continue to be positive and believe that we will turn this around.
I am aware of the Supporters’ Trust’s recent statement in which they have requested for me to engage in ‘structured dialogue’ with their own representatives and the wider support, which I quite frankly find astonishing.
Since I became involved with this club, it has been my intention to have an open and honest line of communication with ALL our supporters and not to hold exclusive conversations with individuals or groups.
During one of my early meetings with them they requested board representation and a shareholding. Their financial offer was what I can only describe as derisory and insulting and generally speaking nothing positive ever came out of the meetings.
In the Q&A sessions I have held at the club, the invitation has always been open for every single Bolton Wanderers fan and no questions have been off limits. These have been timed to coincide with matchdays to ensure as many supporters as possible can attend. The Supporters Trust and other supporter groups are able to participate in these forums and ask whatever questions they would like.
In the letter they sent to me requesting said ‘structured dialogue’ they added in a paragraph to the Memorandum of Understanding to suit their own agenda which isn’t included in the current regulations. We felt this to be disingenuous.
It’s perhaps pertinent to mention that the Supporters Trust have had three changes in leadership in relatively quick succession which would make ‘structured dialogue’ somewhat challenging and I have some concerns about how they operate their elections and not to mention the direct debit subscriptions fiasco.
I’ll be looking to have another Q&A forum in January and of course representatives from the Supporters Trust are more than welcome to attend alongside all our other supporters and we can all engage in some ‘structured dialogue.’
Following on from my notes in early October when I gave supporters a brief summary of the ongoing discussions with potential investors I would like to take this opportunity to update everyone again as promised.
I am afraid that despite assurances, the potential investors I mentioned last month have yet to be able to provide proof of the their ability to finance any proposed purchase. Before I will allow anyone to consume the huge time commitment that the due diligence process will place upon our staff, I need to be satisfied that any potential investor has the ability to provide both the source and availability of their funds to satisfy the financial requirements of the EFL. Without this comfort it would be impossible for any acquisition to proceed but I can assure supporters I am very receptive to finding someone who has the financial ability to bring back the success we all want for our club. I will welcome anyone who can pick up the baton from me and get us back to the heights enjoyed during Eddie Davies’s ownership of the club.
Whilst there are a number of interested parties out there purporting to have the ability to buy a football club, you will see from the very small number of clubs that have successfully found new owners how many timewasters there are in the market.
I reiterate my previous statement that I am fully committed to finding investment and that the perceived lack of progress is not due to any unreasonable demands from myself. I continue to maintain that this club offers a serious investor the best value of any team outside of the Premier League and myself and the senior staff will work diligently to find the right custodian to take the club forward.
I was pleased to hear that our former player Derik Osede has found himself a club in Spain and I’d like to wish him all the best with Numancia.
Following Saturday’s game against Wigan, we’ll be taking on high-flyers Leeds United at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday 15 December. They will bring a large following with them and we need to make sure that we pack the stadium with our own fans and out sing their travelling support. Tickets are available to buy now by clicking here.
Our half season tickets remain on sale up until Boxing Day and offer the best value for watching Wanderers on a match by match basis for the second half of the season. For the remaining 12 games, an adult half season ticket works out from just £15.42 per match. If you haven’t already done so, why not get one today. It will also make a great Christmas present for that special Wanderers fan in your life. More information can be found here.
We have also got a special 4 for 3 offer running across all our hospitality packages for the remainder of the season. The offer is available in the Lion of Vienna Suite, Hall of Fame Suite, Platinum Suite and our Executive Boxes with the lowest grade game being offered free of charge. More information can be found here.
With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve got plenty of festive Wanderers merchandise available in our newly-redesigned webstore. So, please browse bwfcdirect.co.uk and treat yourself or a family member.
Meanwhile, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which is being produced by the Octagon Theatre, begins its run at the University of Bolton Stadium’s Premier Suite next week and will take place until Monday 31 December. This is a fantastic family Christmas show and ticket can be bought here.
It’s festive season over at Bolton Whites Hotel and with the Christmas Party Nights about to start, I’d like to remind you all that there are still some spaces available for you and your friends to get into the Christmas spirit. More details about the Christmas parties can be found here or you can ring the hotel directly on 01204 673610.
You will note that in Saturday’s matchday programme my usual column will be replaced by a new Behind The Scenes feature which will put the spotlight on members of staff at the stadium and showcase the excellent work that they do behind the scenes. In Saturday’s edition, Suzanne Speak writes about the IberCup, a global youth football tournament which is taking place next May.
My column will of course continue but on a less frequent basis.
I hope you enjoy Saturday’s game and that we all come away from the stadium with smiles on our faces.
Let’s be loud, let’s be proud and let’s get behind the team.