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Bolton Wanderers won't have to break bank in Championship

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Bolton Wanderers won't have to break bank in Championship 17895631

Wanderers’ burning ambition to play Championship football need not mean the club over-reaches financially, says chief executive Neil Hart.

It has been five years since Bolton last played in the second tier – a season which was spent almost entirely in financial purgatory under previous ownership.

Should Ian Evatt succeed in meeting his target of a top two spot this season, there would follow the significant challenge of keeping the Whites competitive in a notoriously unforgiving division.

Hart believes, however, that if Wanderers were to get promotion, that the club’s existing structure would be advantageous and would reduce the need to spend excessively.

“If Bolton went up into the Championship then I have every confidence in what we are doing here, the staff, the people behind the scenes and the capabilities we possess,” he told The Bolton News. “It would be challenging, no doubt, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

“You look at clubs like Luton recently who have gone right through and done very well. You see clubs like Plymouth, who have what you’d consider a lower-end Championship budget, holding their own.

“The initial Burnley story – I won’t divulge the numbers, but they are similar to Luton in that respect – so it can be done with a bit of smartness, the right manager, the right board and executives. Get those things aligned and it can be done.”

Hart also notes that if the club is promoted that the spending plan does not hinge on the Premier League agreeing a ‘New Deal’ with the EFL for funding, even though he feels it is desperately needed at Championship level.

He is still optimistic that an agreement can be reached but feels the club would still enter into the division on a secure financial footing.

“Like any club, we know that if we went up to the Championship now what our revenue would be with and without the New Deal,” he said. “And the difference is significant.

“It is very challenging. You still have clubs coming down from the Premier League who are operating on four or five times that. That doesn’t seem especially fair to me but that is the environment that has been created.

“Do I see a solution? Well, it is a really difficult one to solve. I have seen some chief executives and chairmen saying ‘it’s finished, it’s over’ but I wouldn’t go down that road. It is certainly not the case.

“You have to work together. It is up to the EFL and the Premier League to find a way through this.”


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