‘I’m not sure what the players think striking will achieve’ – Bolton chairman criticises own players ahead of Ipswich clash

Bolton Wanderers fans protest against chairman and majority stakeholder Ken Anderson. Ipswich Town a

Bolton Wanderers fans protest against chairman and majority stakeholder Ken Anderson. Ipswich Town are due to play at Bolton on Saturday. Picture: PA SPORT - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Bolton Wanderers chairman Ken Anderson has taken shots at his own players ahead of their clash with Ipswich Town this weekend.

Rock-bottom Town are due to square off against troubled Wanderers, the side one place and eight points ahead of them in the Championship table, at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday.

The game itself is in doubt, with Bolton players on strike and not training after reportedly not being paid, while matchday staff are also said to be considering strike action.

Bolton News journalist Marc Iles reported that matchday staff, including stewards, are threatening to withdraw their services for the game – something which could put the required safety certificate under threat – if they are not paid.

The Trotters face a winding up order over an unpaid tax bill of £1.2m, with players and staff repeatedly receiving their pay late in recent months.

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And today Anderson put out a statement through the club which strongly criticised his own players.

He wrote: “I have read that the players and management staff have said that being paid late does not actually motivate them to go out and perform on the pitch.

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“That is fully understandable, but perhaps they could also explain why the results up to Christmas were not exactly impressive either?

“That all said, l have to apologise to all the non-playing staff for the delay in paying their salaries and whilst there are sufficient funds in the club bank accounts to pay them, it is not currently possible until after April 3 for legal reasons and l sincerely apologise to everyone unreservedly for this and would again request their continued patience during these difficult times.

“Fortunately, they did not choose to go on strike and their loyalty to the club cannot be questioned, unlike the players’ decision, which unfortunately has a negative rather than a positive logic behind it.

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“I am not quite sure what the players think striking will achieve.

“In the meantime, I will continue to do my upmost to try and find a solvent solution, as l have done over the last few months when l have funded the staff and players’ salary payments to the tune of over £1.5 million, even if it appears that a number of people would prefer the club to go into administration with the consequent points deduction and some staff and suppliers not getting paid in full.

“Finally, I hope that the players will reconsider their actions and return to training, not for me, but for the sake of the loyal supporters and other staff who have got behind them through thick and thin, irrespective of the results on the pitch.”

- Bolton’s tax case was adjourned on March 20 after Anderson claimed to have agreed a deal with a last minute buyer. That will be heard again at the High Court tomorrow.

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