Bolton Wanderers’ crisis deepened last night as manager Phil Parkinson left the club, along with assistant Steve Parkin.
Parkinson has been at Bolton for over three years, helping them out of League One in 2017 despite being under a transfer embargo. They then battled bravely against relegation from the Championship, but are now in serious financial trouble.
They’ve been relegated to League One, they have a points deduction that sees them hot favourites for another relegation and they postponed this week’s match against Doncaster Rovers over player welfare concerns after being forced to play youngsters in the first team.
They’re now looking to a manager search which promises to be a huge task. There is uncertainty over the future of the club, no clear indication of when the takeover will be resolved and as yet, no budget set aside for player recruitment.
It’s a poisoned chalice, but a job some out of work managers might relish. If they do get taken over, the club will be a huge draw for players and whilst they’re suffering now, there is surely light at the end of the tunnel.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of three managers we think would be realistic options for the Trotters in the coming weeks.
No money, struggling against relegation and a vacancy few will want to fill; that sounds just like the Macclesfield job a year ago.
Sol Campbell went into Moss Rose and turned them around, getting out of the bottom two and avoiding the drop. They’ve started strongly this season, but the former Arsenal defender left the club a couple of weeks ago.
If he wants a challenge and a chance to improve his own reputation, this could be the golden chance. He’s used to working with little cash and an uncertain future after the last year.
Keith Hill claimed he wouldn’t be afraid to take over Bury earlier in the summer and that would surely still apply at Bolton.
In Hill, the Trotters would be getting a committed manager, used to taking a club forward on a limited budget. He knows the area and has plenty of experience in League One.
Hill would be a good choice as he’s proven at this level and has worked with young players before at Rochdale, with some degree of success.
Nolan is a Bolton old boy, a player still held in high esteem in the north-west. He’s managed in the lower leagues before, taking charge of Notts County and Leyton Orient.
He almost guided County to League One in 2017/18 but was sacked after a poor start to the next season. He wouldn’t cost a bomb and perhaps that popularity could be used to build bridges between the club and its long-suffering supporters.