The Guardian: Bolton Wanderers - emergency food bank set up to help unpaid staff
An emergency food bank has been set up to help Bolton Wanderers staff who have gone unpaid for two weeks. The club’s Community Trust has received food and essential items from charities and local businesses to help employees and their families while Bolton, who entered administration on Monday, look for a solution so wages can be released.
Bolton will start next season in League One with a 12-point deduction and owe more than £1m to HMRC, putting them in danger of dropping into the fourth tier for only the second time in their history. Players have recently been given financial assistance in the form of a small loan by the Professional Footballers’ Association but of more pressing concern is the welfare of employees on modest incomes who have had to go without pay.
“We have tried to offer whatever support we can to people and that has included trying to get some provisions in order that people can continue to live a normal life,” the club chaplain, Phil Mason, told the Bolton News. “Through the chaplaincy and the Community Trust we have been able to offer food provisions.
“When people talk about football they often associate it with big salaries and luxurious living but the reality is that many of our staff – as we all do – live within their means. And that becomes very difficult when you have not been paid for a couple of weeks. It has hit home hard.”
The club’s chairman, Ken Anderson, claimed last week he had been left with no choice other than to place the club in administration, after the former Watford owner Laurence Bassini failed to provide proof of funding to support his takeover bid.
The cash-strapped club faced a winding-up petition on 3 April over an unpaid tax bill but the case has now been adjourned twice. They were unable to fulfil their final home league game of the season against Brentford after the players went on strike in protest at unpaid wages. Brentford were awarded three points on the basis of a 1-0 win, with the EFL opening disciplinary proceedings afterwards.