I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Board, staff and players, to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2020.
Christmas is an appropriate time to reflect and to focus on the important matters that are close to our hearts: our families and our loved ones.
It’s been just over three months since we arrived at the club and the response we continue to receive from everybody has been incredible.
Prior to taking over the reins we heard about how much of a family club Bolton Wanderers is; but it is only when you are actually welcomed into the family that you start to truly appreciate and experience the emotions and passions that make our club so special.
There are many components which make a football club what it is but the supporters and staff are the bedrock. That they have stuck with the club through arguably its most arduous period in living memory is a testament to their loyalty and love.
I will never forget the first time I met our supporters at Wycombe Wanderers and the meeting we had with the club and hotel staff shortly afterwards at the University of Bolton Stadium. Their affection for Bolton Wanderers and their sense of togetherness was so palpable on both occasions.
Meeting the Community Trust and hearing about all their work not only within the community of Bolton, which is exceptional, but how they have supported the staff throughout the dark days of administration was so heart-warming to hear.
The great institutions of Bolton – the Council and University – have also been great supporters of ours and our relationship will only continue to grow stronger as we proudly and diligently represent the community of Bolton.
Even though these past three months have flown by, a lot has happened to get the club back on the right footing and there is still much more to do. Emma Beaugeard and her team have been working non-stop behind the scenes to ensure that a sustainable structure is in place and that the relationships which were broken in the past are mended and enhanced.
Getting a new home and away kit and appointing Home Bargains as shirt sponsor in record time after the season had started – a process that usually takes many months – is just one example of how we have overcome the challenges that faced us when we arrived.
On the football side, it is pleasing to see the work that Keith Hill and David Flitcroft are undertaking. Their enthusiasm for the town, the club and the community is abundantly clear. They have worked miracles to get in a squad of players ahead of the deadline and those players have completely bought into the club’s ethos.
I realise that we must now look forward to the future and I promise that one of my New Year’s resolutions will be to not mention the past!
Immediate success doesn’t happen overnight and we are all working assiduously to ensure that Bolton Wanderers Football Club is re-energised, reinvigorated and revitalised.
The continued support of our fans, staff and the community – the heart and soul of our club – is as crucial as it has ever been, and with us all working closely together we can achieve our objectives.
Have a wonderful Christmas Day and I look forward to seeing you back at the University of Bolton Stadium on Sunday for our game against Shrewsbury Town.