Crisis hit Bolton Wanderers call off game over fears for players’ welfare

Bolton Wanderers

Struggling Bolton Wanderers has called off tonight’s League One game against Doncaster Rovers.

The club, which is in administration, postponed the game due to concerns over the welfare of younger players.

The club fielded just three senior outfield players at Tranmere on Saturday.

The club issued a statement on the decision.

It said: “It is with real regret and a deepening sense of frustration that we have been forced to postpone tomorrow’s fixture.

“But after consultation with the club’s medical staff, it is obvious that to call on them for another match without an adequate break would be detrimental to both their welfare and development, which cannot be allowed.

“Following recent events, the legal position of various parties has altered which means a delay in completion. In this situation, it is very difficult to attract available players to the club.

“We will be discussing the implications with the EFL but, in the meantime, we would call on all parties involved with the acquisition of the club and hotel to end this intolerable delay and secure once and for all the future of Bolton Wanderers.”

The club fielded just three senior players in Saturday’s game against Tranmere Rovers and were defeated 5-0.

The English Football League said: “We understands the challenging position the club currently finds itself in whilst negotiations continue over its purchase.

“However, it would have expected the club to have first interfaced with the EFL, giving it an opportunity to consider the application to postpone, and consulted with the club’s opposition Doncaster Rovers before making a public announcement.

“The EFL remains acutely aware of the ongoing risks this challenging and complex situation has to the integrity of the competition.”

A Doncaster statement said: “Bolton Wanderers have postponed this game without the agreement of Rovers or the EFL, and we were surprised to learn of the news via Bolton’s social media.

“We have a lot of sympathy for Bolton’s plight, but we’ve prepared for this game as normal and fully expected it to go ahead.

“We will work with the EFL to understand this situation and keep supporters as informed as we can when we are able to say more.”

The club is currently waiting for a proposed takeover by Football Ventures to go through.

Businessman Laurence Bassini failed with his own bid to buy the club before it went into administration.

He had been granted a court halting the sale earlier this month.

The order was amended allowing a takeover to go through but the deal is still to be completed.

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