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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Vernon Kay on the ‘glory days’ of Wanderers - and looking to a bright future

Vernon Kay on the ‘glory days’ of Wanderers - and looking to a bright future

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Lifelong Wanderers fan Vernon Kay is looking forward to a brighter footballing future after watching his club nearly go out of business in the summer.

The Bolton-born TV host and radio presenter says he would even accept his team being relegated to the fourth tier of English football this season, if it meant building on stronger foundations under new owners, the Football Ventures consortium.

Reflecting on Wanderers’ slide into administration over the summer, and their brush with liquidation, Kay feels more optimistic that the worst times are now over.

“Bolton Wanderers is one of the founding fathers of the Football League and it was really sad to see them go into this sticky situation. No-one wants to see what happened to Bury happen to anyone else,” he said.

“We were paying great wages, we had great players, we were in the Premier League for a long period of time and then as soon as you get relegated and those parachute payments finish it’s very, very difficult to get out of the Championship. And we learned the hard way, unfortunately.

“The new owners are brilliant. They have already back paid everyone’s wages and said ‘right, let’s build this club literally from the foundations, back up.’

“And if we get relegated, which we probably will again, I don’t mind, because we’re in safe hands and we’ll start again.”

Kay is also desperate to see the football club thrive again for the sake of the town.

It was estimated in 2011 that having a team in the Premier League was worth between £30-35million to the local economy – a figure which is sure to have climbed in the intervening years as TV and overseas revenues increased exponentially.

“I remember in the glory days of the Premier League the town was absolutely rocking,” Kay said. “It’s not a city, it’s a town. It was so vibrant – from Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday morning the whole place was buzzing, it really was, and it was because of the football team.

“And when you lose that momentum it’s difficult to say ‘come on Boltonians, let’s get together’ because it’s a proper working class town and I think it has got a really good heart at its base.”


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