We all woke up this morning with the sad and tragic news coming out of the King Power Stadium.
Our deepest sympathies are extended to the family of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, to the other passengers and to all our friends and colleagues at Leicester City Football Club who have been affected by this tragedy.
It was moving to see the entire football community get behind everybody at Leicester and our thoughts will remain with them over these coming days, weeks and months.
On Friday evening we travel down the M6 to take on Aston Villa in front of the Sky Sports cameras and I continue to be optimistic that our results will improve going forward.
It is only a matter of time before our long-term injury absentees start to return to the fold and strengthen the squad, and that we will hopefully get the rub of the green which we deserve.
As I have said on many occasions before, the season is a marathon and not a sprint – and I continue to believe there will be many more twists and turns between now and the end of the season, as we have already seen.
There is no doubt about it that Villa will fancy their chances against us, but we have got the players and the determination to put in a performance.
I hope that as many of you as possible are able to get down to Villa Park and cheer the lads on.
Hopefully, we will be able to draw a line under the recent results and, as disappointing as they have been, strive to move forward with a renewed belief in ourselves. Likewise, we should now all move on from the ongoing speculation regarding the manager’s position and players’ recent performances and focus on the job ahead and on improving the results.
Our good start illustrates just how much we have progressed this season and I have no doubt that we are not that far away from going on another good run of results and regaining a higher spot in the Sky Bet Championship. We are not the only club this season to have had a run of good results, which are then followed by a sequence of disappointing results, and I feel sure that we won’t be the last. The target has to be to turn the future results into points and start climbing back up the league.
I have noted some recent comments in relation to the money we have spent on players in comparison to what other clubs have done in this league.
It is true to say that in all four divisions, all clubs have differing budgets and are not on a level playing field in what they can pay out on transfer fees and on player salaries.
As such, clubs must cut their cloth accordingly and here at Bolton Wanderers we are no different. As I have always said, we will always adhere to our budget and never deviate from it. We cannot get into the same position we found ourselves in prior to my involvement.
I’ve noted that people have questioned why we aren’t able to compete for young players who are being loaned out to Championship clubs by Premier League teams. The simple answer is that to get these players on board you have to pay circa £30,000 per week to contribute to their salaries.
Unfortunately, this is not within our means at this moment in time but our budget will only improve with increased commercial, ticketing and hospitality revenue and that is where our supporters can help.
Later this week, we are taking delivery of a brand new but limited supply of away shirts which will be made available for purchase immediately.
The black kit has proven to be one of most popular away kits in recent times and I have no doubt that these will be sold right away.
If you haven’t already got your pre-order in, I would strongly urge you to do so now so that you don’t miss out. Please click here to pre-order.
Looking ahead to next weekend against Swansea City at the University of Bolton Stadium, we will hopefully have one of our biggest crowds in recent seasons.
All season ticket holders are able to take up to four additional guests with them for just £10 each.
Can you imagine if every season ticket holder took up the offer? We’d have to put in some extra seats in all four stands…
In all seriousness, if most season ticket holders took up this offer we would have a capacity crowd for the first time since the Premier League years.
Not only would this create a spectacle and a very special atmosphere, it would also bring in an additional £400,000 of revenue which would help the club enormously.
Half season tickets are also available to buy now and offer fantastic value for money for our 12 remaining home games, starting from the Boxing Day clash against Rotherham United.
At the risk of being accused of repeating myself, it really is the most cost effective way of watching Wanderers on a match by match basis with the price working out at just £15.42 per match if you purchased an adult ticket in the lower tier of the Carrs Pasties North Stand. Half season tickets for under 18s are priced at only £60. Please click here to buy your half season ticket today.
I was pleased to read the reviews of the ‘And Did Those Feet’ play which is being staged in the Lion of Vienna Suite by the Octagon Theatre.
Its run, here at the University of Bolton Stadium, has proved to be very popular and I’ve heard good feedback from some of those who have attended. The final show is on Thursday so please book your tickets if you wish to see it.
We will be welcoming the Octagon back later in the year and in the run up to the Festive period, when they return with family Christmas show ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ which is being performed in the Premier Suite from the 4th until the 31st of December.