Bolton Wanderers will start next season on minus 12 points after going into administration this week, however, there may be some light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
It’s been a difficult few months for Bolton’s fans, players, staff and manager Phil Parkinson. The team was relegated from the Championship and has faced a host of financial issues that resulted in unpaid wages over several months for those working at the club. This resulted in players going on strike towards the end of the season and the EFL are still considering what punishment the club will face for being unable to fulfil their league fixture with Brentford.
However, in a time of uncertainty, the administration process could be the start of a long road to recovery for the Lancashire club.
Here are some positives fans can look at…
Parkinson has been with the club since 2016 and has had a successful managerial stint despite this season’s relegation. He got the club promoted from League One during his first season in charge then kept them up last season on the last day despite being heavily tipped for relegation.
The manager is owed two months wages but looks set to stay in charge and has vowed to help the club through the administration process including advising on player contracts. Parkinson has experience of being successful in League One and this will be invaluable when trying to claw back that 12 point deduction.
Experience of previous clubs
Bolton are not the first club to go into administration and they can look at previous examples of how best to manage the situation. Bournemouth dropped out of League One in the 2007/2008 season and were deducted 17 points at the start of the next campaign.
However, after appointing Eddie Howe as manager the club managed to stay up on the final day of the season before their long charge to the Premier League began with promotion back to League One the following year. Current Premier League clubs Southampton and Crystal Palace have also been in administration in the last decade and perhaps a more notable comparison, Portsmouth, have recovered to be challenging at the top of League One again.
While it may be a long road ahead for Bolton, it is hopefully the start of a re-building project which Phil Parkinson will oversee.