Bolton wage bill to be halved

Bolton wage bill to be halved

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside has revealed the newly-relegated side plan to halve their wage bill by the start of next season.

An 11-year stay in the Barclays Premier League ended for Bolton last Sunday and Gartside said he will be looking towards the club’s academy to bear fruit, with several players set to leave manager Owen Coyle’s squad over the summer.

“If you look at our wage bill this year compared to what it was last year, allowing for a couple of people to come in, it will be up to 50% of what we paid out last year,” Gartside told BBC Radio Manchester.

“That flexibility is essential when you are going to lose £25m of revenue.

“You’ve got to dust yourself off and get on with life. It’s not the end of the world – we’ve got a plan and we’ll implement that plan.

“This was always going to be a year when we restructured the club.

“Owen put a plan together 18 months ago that he wanted to reduce the age of the squad because he felt there were some older players in the squad that were going to come to the end of what were great careers, and he wanted to put something in place that was sustainable.

“We’ve had an academy for over 10 years and we never produced a boy from the local area from the age of seven that came through to the first team, and that has changed this year.

“We have got two boys who have made their debuts in Joe Riley and Josh Vela, both exciting players capable of playing first-team football, and we have got five or six other boys in the academy who are just as good, who are on the fringe of breaking in.

“That is a great achievement.”

Impending financial fair play rules mean clubs will need to bring their wage bills and turnover closer in line – a rule that will also affect Bolton if they fail to get promotion from the npower Championship at the first attempt.

Gartside believes the financial input by Bolton benefactor Eddie Davies will help to stave off problems in that area.

“When you borrow money from a bank and they can come to ask for it back, that’s a different situation. But that overdraft at Bolton is £10m and we use it for working capital over the year,” Gartside said.

“We have got financial fair play which is on the horizon and you have to prepare for that, no matter how good your benefactor is.

“The rest of the money is Eddie’s and he might live in the Isle of Man now but he comes from Great Lever, he’s been a supporter from the age of six – he’s 66 now and in good health.”

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