Looking back over the past few years, Bolton Wanderers have had some very hard times. From surviving the drop to the Championship in 2010/11 EPL season, followed by getting relegated on the last day of the 2011/12 season, followed by a fail attempt to reach the play off’s in the 2012/13 season after which another relegation scare in the 2013/14 season. Over the course of these 4 years, we have had numerous managers but none have had as much luck and success as we used to under Sam Allardyce.
Unfortunately, these poor run of years can take a financial effect on the club and Bolton Wanderers find themselves in £164m debt at the end of 2013. Although the chairman, Phil Gartside, has said he is not worried about the debt, there have been numerous moments in 2014 where I have to question his intentions.
BWFC deal with QuickQuid
First has to be the moment BWFC decide and put pen to paper on a sponsorship deal with QuickQuid. QuickQuid is a so called “pay-day” loan company with astronomical interest rates. Should BWFC fans have been exposed to this company then it is likely that some fans would be encouraged to take out a loan consequentially put themselves in debt should they not be able to afford the repayments. With other clubs making similar deals with “pay-day” loan companies it has proved to come along with controversies surrounded by it, surely the decision for this deal was questionable before the deal was made. Luckily the voices of the fans and some influential people put an immediate end to this deal. It goes to show that the club are ethical and care about the community. With BWFC currently being sponsored by Bolton-based energy company FibrLec, it supports that.
BWFC deal with Macron
The next baffling decision BWFC have recently made is to have Macron their official technical sponsor which also involves rebranding Reebok Stadium to Macron Stadium. The brand Reebok was founded in Bolton which means it is a community based sponsor which most Boltonians are proud of. Phil Gartside also made a pledge in 2003 for it to always be Reebok but now that pledge has been broken. So how can the fans believe anything the Chairman says – it really makes us feel uneasy about the club and its direction.
So, with the initial signing of the QuickQuid deal as well as BWFC’s chairmen, Phil Gartside’s, breaking of the Reebok pledge, it brings me back to the title: Are Bolton Wanderers trying to sell their soul?