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Keith Hill opens up on the Bolton challenge that has been ‘bigger than expected’

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Bolton Wanderers manager Keith Hill has revealed that the challenge he is facing as a result of the transfer embargo placed on the club is much more difficult than he expected.

The League One side are restricted with the number of professional contracts and amount of wages they can award, and are also not allowed to pay transfer or loan fees as a result of the embargo placed on the club for entering administration earlier in the year.

Speaking to The Bolton News about the impact that has had on his time at the club, Hill revealed: “The embargo is a bigger challenge than I ever expected.

“I didn’t realise the ramifications of how it could hinder us.

Despite that, Hill is still confident he will be able to strengthen his side in January, as he continued: “But it is a challenge which can be circumnavigated, definitely. We can’t challenge the thing itself but we can be creative on our recruitment and retained list.”

“Whether you look at it that we’re on a jail sentence and on tag, or we’ve been in intensive care and we’re coming out of surgery, it is what it is. We will deal with it.

“Recruitment within our financial structure is key and it’s absolutely achievable.”

Following the financial trouble the club has faced under past regimes recently, Hill also appeared keen to stress that any recruitment will not see Bolton living beyond means in terms of spending, as the Wanderers boss added: “From a footballing standpoint you look back not so long ago and there were massive, massive successes at this club.

“I tip my cap to the managers, players and the supporters who were part of that.

“But financially we’re talking a different kettle of fish. It’s a flip of a 50 pence coin on how you view it. The new consortium and sorting that all out now.

“What I am sure of is that we will thrive in the future on a more solid financial foundation which will serve the club for years and years to come.”

Assessing what that is likely to mean for the club in terms of recruitment, Hill concluded: “There will be good investment, sound investment. We want to try and use the historical success of this football club to spur on and challenge a new group of players to go and do it again.

“As a manager, I can’t prophesise what has happened here, financially. I just can’t.

“You have got the wrong person in charge if you want success on a false economy.” 

The Verdict

In some ways, it is hard not to have sympathy for Hill and Bolton here.

It is a hugely difficult situation the club find themselves in at the minute, and the challenges they face when it comes to recruiting players to get them out of that position are not going to help them here.

However, you can understand why those restrictions are in place, partly in order to prevent such a situation from happening again, and partly to punish them for spending beyond their means the first place.

The fact that the club appears to have plans to cope with that embargo is at least encouraging, as is Hill’s commitment to making sure the club does not overspend again, since it is that that is likely to help lay the foundations upon which the club can rebuild itself long term.


UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Keith Hill opens up on the Bolton challenge that has been ‘bigger than expected’

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