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Phil Parkinson speaks out on Bolton Wanderers player strikes

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PHIL Parkinson has discussed for the first time the reasons behind Wanderers’ player strike and the cancelled friendlies against Chester and Preston North End.
Players issued a joint statement last week detailing their concern about the takeover, the lack of communication during the administration process and a wait for pay which has now extended beyond 20 weeks.

That led to the Chester game being shelved last Wednesday, after which Preston North End sought guarantees that a team would take the field at Leyland in a match originally scheduled to take place tonight.

A decision was finally taken on Saturday that Accrington Stanley would step in as a replacement – although Wanderers are now considering playing a behind-closed-doors friendly against Bradford City to keep the players ticking over.

Having kept his own counsel this summer, Parkinson has now looked to clarify why his squad withdrew their services.
“First of all, the lads did not do that anticipating that their actions are going to speed up the takeover process,” he told The Bolton News.

“The reason they are concerned is that they are all worried about their futures.
“They are worried, as players, as to what would happen if the takeover didn’t go through. They are worried about playing in a game and risking injury when they haven’t been paid for 20 weeks. And let’s be honest, at this stage there is no cast iron guarantee when that will change.

“It isn’t like they are stamping their feet and saying ‘we want to be paid’ – it is more a case of protecting themselves, going forward, until the situation is sorted.”

Parkinson says the players’ decision had nothing to do with details which have emerged about the takeover, including the amount which is potentially being paid to former owner, and secured creditor, Ken Anderson.
“That is not true at all,” he said. “It is purely down to their concern that the takeover could go on longer.

“It has been well-publicised that players have got other clubs lined-up and it’s difficult to risk that in a competitive game where you could get injured. People are getting to the stage where they could lose their ability to earn money to pay the bills etc.”

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