Bolton Wanderers defender Jack Hobbs has agreed a deal to remain with the Trotters this season, but can’t play until it’s been ratified by the EFL, as reported by the Bolton News.
The former Liverpool man signed for Bolton from Nottingham Forest last season on a one-year deal, agreeing on terms for an additional year ahead of their fixture with Wycombe on Friday. However, it’s understood that the EFL will not allow him to play until the club emerges from administration.
Bolton manager Phil Parkinson lamented the situation, claiming it is hampering his side as they look to overturn a 12-point deficit at the bottom of the table.
“Negotiations needed to start taking place immediately to get us ready,” said the Trotters boss. “Because of all the chaos that had gone on, things have not been implemented the way they should have been.
“I’m not saying there’s anyone at fault for that, it’s just the new people coming in don’t feel they have the power to start negotiating contracts because they are not the official owners yet.
“Trialists have come in, some have gone. Players have been ready to sign, and they have gone.”
Hobbs began his career with Lincoln City, appearing just once before being snapped up by Liverpool. The 30-year-old has since played for Scunthorpe, Leicester City, Hull City and Nottingham Forest in a career that’s seen him make 306 senior appearances.
The situation at Bolton must be tough on everyone concerned, but the EFL do have a duty of care to the other sides in the division. There are stringent rules around signing players under these conditions and they must be adhered to.
At least the Trotters are able to play matches, that’s better than Bury have been permitted to do. Relegation should be the very least of their worries; a few weeks ago it looked as though the fans wouldn’t have a team to support.
It’s not easy on the likes of Hobbs waiting for the deal to go through but, if he’s committed to Bolton, he should be in a position to wait a week or two before the EFL let the club move forward under the right conditions.