BOLTON’S Championship game against Brentford is OFF – after the players went on strike and refused to take part in their remaining matches this season until they are paid.
The entire first team squad at the crisis-hit Championship club say they can no longer go on playing without bosses paying them the wages they are owed.
Talks between the club, the players and the EFL failed to resolve the problem – and Saturday’s clash against the Bees has been postponed while there are major doubts over whether the final game of the season at Nottingham Forest will be played.
And the EFL have now hit the Trotters with a misconduct charge which could see them hit with a points deduction for next season when they will begin life in League One.
Players and coaches have not been paid for four weeks, and they have given up listening to the excuses from current Bolton owner Ken Anderson and prospective new owner Laurence Bassini.
Former Watford chief Bassini has had over a week to come up with the money to pay the salaries and has yet to do so, and the EFL have still not granted approval for his takeover to go through.
An EFL statement said: “Following the failure of Bolton Wanderers to provide formal confirmation of its ability to meet its obligation to fulfil its Championship fixture against Brentford FC on Saturday (27 April), the game will not go ahead as planned.
“Earlier on Friday, the playing staff at the Club issued a collective statement confirming that they had decided not to fulfil the remaining fixtures of the season unless they received monies owed to them.
“As a result of these disappointing developments, the League has been forced to suspend Saturday’s fixture and under EFL Regulations, the Club is now deemed to be guilty of misconduct and will be referred to an Independent Disciplinary Commission.
“The EFL Board will now consider the matter of determining whether the fixture will be played or not.”
The Bolton players’ statement said: “The long running financial crisis at our club has been well documented. As has the fact that we, the playing staff have yet to receive our March salaries.
“Five of our coaching staff are also yet to be paid for March.
“We have endeavoured to continue our training and playing commitments during this extremely difficult time, with seemingly no resolution in sight.
“We thought that the prospective takeover of the club would provide a solution, but difficulties in its completion has left us no further forward.
The mental pressure has affected some people to the extent that they feel they are unable to perform their jobs sufficiently
Bolton Players’ Statement
“This situation is creating mounting mental, emotional and financial burdens for people through no fault of their own.
“The mental pressure has affected some people to the extent that they feel they are unable to perform their jobs sufficiently.
“These are unprecedented circumstances and are affecting every aspect of our lives, placing great strain on ourselves and our families.
“During this time we have remained patient in hope of some explanation but information from the club has been extremely limited and very confusing. What we have been told changes constantly.
“With deep regret we have decided not to fulfil our remaining fixtures unless we are paid.
“We understand that this will disappoint our fans and for this we sincerely apologise.
“We realise this may be seen as drastic action but we feel we have no other options left.
OUT OF CONTROL
“This decision has not been taken lightly and is not a reaction to this one particular incident.
“We have suffered numerous issues this season, and recent season. Brought on by the mismanagement of this club.
“We have been operating in a near untenable environment for some time and it is the accumulation of these issues that have resulted in our decision.”
A Bolton statement said: “Bolton Wanderers Football Club regrettably confirms that Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship fixture against Brentford has been called off.
“The club would like to apologise for the inconvenience this will cause.
“A further update will be released in due course.”