In 2019, Bolton Wanderers were on the brink of liquidation. An unfortunate situation that has become alarmingly common within the football league in recent years.
The collapse of football clubs can destroy communities and given the sheer size of Bolton Wanderers as a collective, more than 100 jobs were also at risk.
But just when the club’s hopes of finding a suitable buyer were diminishing, up stepped Football Ventures, providing the Lancashire club a new lease of life.
The re-building of the club will be a long-endured process and they have since been relegated to the fourth tier of English football. However, recent signs suggest that Bolton are on the rise and they are now beyond their darkest days.
Bolton Wanderers: From Liquidation to a Promotion Charge
A Worrying Start for Bolton Wanderers
Summer was met with clear optimism from Bolton fans. A young and progressive manager in Ian Evatt was appointed, and the signings of Swindon Town’s Eoin Doyle and Plymouth Argyle’s Antoni Sarcevic showed the club’s intent of bouncing straight back to League One.
But, after three games, the Trotters found themselves 22nd and without a single goal. Instinctively, Bolton fans began to panic that a third successive relegation was on the cards. A drop that would see the club lose their football league status.
For most of the season, Wanderers have flirted around the relegation places. Given the quality and intentions of the club, a finish in the bottom half would not be acceptable, and it was clear that Bolton were going to have to use the January transfer window wisely.
Eleven-Game Unbeaten Run Has Sparked Promotion Ambitions
The constantly shifting nature of football means that nothing is set in stone whilst there is still a possibility for the unthinkable to happen. And in early February, with the Trotters still in 19th place, the ultimate objective lied in survival. A mid-table finish was deemed as a bonus, with the play-offs seemingly a world away.
January signings Declan John and MJ Williams have slotted in seamlessly into Bolton’s starting lineup, changing the club’s fortunes for the better. Doyle and Sarcevic have also shone in recent weeks and are thriving in a team full of confidence.
Automatic Promotion Now the Primary Objective
A claim that would have been laughed off a month ago, is that Bolton should back themselves to return to the third-tier at the first time of asking. They sit four points off Forest green who currently occupy the final automatic promotion spot, but face several challenges in what remains of this League Two campaign.
Despite emerging as the most-feared team in the division, on paper, Bolton have the most difficult run-in out of the promotion-chasing clubs. Eight out of their eleven remaining fixtures come against teams who are either in the top seven or sides who have a realistic chance of making the play-offs.
As the season nears its conclusion, the Trotters have an opportunity to find some positivity in and amongst the recent suffering the club have been put through.