Football Club into a case study on failed governance.
By this time next week there will be a game to talk about, new players to discuss fresh grounds to visit and a League One campaign coming sharply into view.
New ownership with different ideas will be at the helm, and with a minimum 12 points to make up from day one there can be little room for error if their arrival is to spell the end of this club’s decline.
This whole administration has been concentrated into two months, which is quite swift as football clubs go. The lights of a new season have been blinking light a lighthouse for several weeks – but now we can see waves breaking on the rocks.
It is any wonder, then, that with so much needing to be packed into so little time, Phil Parkinson appears to have been sounded out to continue as manager?
Back in May I questioned whether Wanderers were going to be forced into a change, despite having the best person for the job still on the books.
Parkinson’s record in the third tier is up there with the very best. His style was exactly what a wounded Wanderers needed in 2016 – and three years later, there are comparisons to be drawn. Is the same steady hand needed again to ensure Bolton do not fall any further?
But let's be honest, the rationale for fans who want to see a change of manager is not one of personality, it is more a rebellion against his perceived style of football. And at such a crucial juncture in this club’s history, should entertainment value really come into play?
The majority of the criticism aimed towards Wanderers’ football came after their Championship return. Two seasons battling against bigger budgets and the club’s own inner demons raised the levels of frustration on the terraces but shows of visible dissent towards the manager were relatively few and far between.
There were ugly scenes at Burton Albion when it appeared defeat was sending the club toppling towards relegation in April 2018, and pockets of chanting in the final few months of last season as Wanderers’ fate was unfolding. There was nothing as vitriolic as that aimed at previous managers like Gary Megson, Dougie Freedman or even Phil Neal.
Parkinson knows that last season’s failures on the pitch will follow him. And if nothing else, if he is backed by the incoming owners he knows there will be a finite amount of patience on the terraces if the team make a poor start.
It is fair to assume that if the takeover had been wrapped up earlier there would have been more time to consider a change, examine the options available. But many supporters are now coming around to the idea that while Parkinson’s brand of football is not universally popular, there is a bigger picture.
You could even argue that Parkinson and his backroom staff deserve a shot at managing this great club without all the ‘crazy’. They managed to keep a lid on things in 2016/17 to get promotion yet the environment they inherited on arrival from Bradford City can hardly be considered normal.
Wanderers’ fans protested against the owner but in the end it was not the people carrying placards and chanting who forced Anderson out of the door, it was the ones who didn’t turn up at all. I’d like to think that was done to prove a point about the club and the direction it was heading.
Now that a fresh start is on the cards shouldn’t people be showing that it is the club they support, and not (necessarily) the manager?