Bolton Wanderers players have threatened not to participate in their remaining Championship games in protest for non payment of their wages since February.
The Trotters, who are already relegated to League One for next season, face fixtures against Brentford and Nottingham Forest to round off the season, but their players are refusing to play until they are paid, citing “mental, emotional and financial burdens”.
The players released a statement in which they referenced an attempt by chairman, Ken Anderson, to sell the club, with former Watford chairman Laurence Bassini rumoured to be close to a deal, which has not got over the line in time to prevent them taking action.
“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,” the players said in a statement released by the Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA).
“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 have left us no further forward.
“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. 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 seasons, 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.”
The PFA has said they support the player’s actions, but also that they will seek to find a resolution for the good of the club and their members.
“The PFA supports the actions of the Bolton Wanderers players,” the organisation said.
“The players have shown great patience and loyalty towards the club all season, but today they have reached a point where action is necessary.
“The PFA has been working with the club since the beginning of the season and we have done all we can to resolve this issue including giving Bolton Wanderers a substantial loan to cover players’ salaries in December.
“We will continue to support and represent the players and work towards a longer-term solution in the best interests of the players and Bolton Wanderers Football Club.”Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.