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Parkinson takes a watching brief in crucial week at Wanderers

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Phil Parkinson will wait to see the outcome of a defining week in Wanderers’ history before pursuing answers on his own future.

With ownership uncertain, administration likely and a High Court hearing on Wednesday, there are no guarantees what shape the club will take as they start preparations for life in League One.

Parkinson is closing in on three years in charge at the University of Bolton Stadium but presided over a relegation campaign mired in off-the-field problems.

Asked what his own future held, the Bolton boss said he would take a watching brief with the rest of the Wanderers fans this week.

“I honestly don’t know,” he said. “I wanted to get to the end of the season, which I have done, now I can go away and when we find out who the owner of the club is we can speak to them. Whether it goes into admin, or whatever, I just want to spend a bit of time with the family and see what happens at the club this week.”

Should the family of late owner, Eddie Davies, opt to put the club into administration as expected on Tuesday, Wanderers would almost certainly begin next season on minus 12 points.

Further heavy punishment is also expected from the EFL after a player strike forced the cancellation of a home game against Brentford.

Parkinson is focussed on the short-term and hopes to see the club protected.

“It’s an important week,” he said. “The situation at the club has got to be resolved because of the court case on Wednesday.

“Everyone will have their fingers crossed that there is a resolution which is as positive as possible for the club, going forward.”

Whether Laurence Bassini succeeds in his attempt to buy the club solvent or an administrator comes in to manage the club’s affairs, there is likely to be a new name above the door by the end of this week.

An undeniable appetite for change exists within the supporters and given the events of the last eight months Parkinson expects there will be some psychological baggage taken into next season for those who have been involved.

“There have been very trying circumstances all the way through the three years I have been here but this year has been increased in terms of the regularity of problems we’ve faced at the club,” he said.

“It has been very testing, not just for the staff, but for everyone who works at the club. It has had a draining effect on everyone.

“It has been a very difficult year. Everyone who has worked here and been involved at the club have got to mentally wash this out of our minds and look forward to moving on, whether that is at Bolton Wanderers or somewhere else.”

Parkinson thanked his players for putting in a professional performance as Wanderers bowed out of the Championship with a 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Naming a side decimated by injury and unavailability at the City Ground, the Bolton boss said he was “proud” of his team in a week of unimaginable.

“The lads came in and put in a very creditable performance, given the circumstances,” he said.

“It was a mix of senior players, a couple of lads have been able to make their full debuts, and I am very proud of the way the lads have conducted themselves and represented the club today.

“I think that was summed up by the reception they got from our own fans but also the round of applause they got from the Nottingham Forest fans who can understand what we have gone through as a group.

“To get clapped off by the Forest fans as well was a great tribute to the way the lads conducted themselves.”


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