Message from the Supporter’s Trust Chair

  • Message from the Supporter’s Trust Chair

Back from the Brink

I am pleased to be able to deliver a message with hope for new beginnings and a great sense of relief that our great club survives to fight another day.

It is difficult to comprehend the sad decline in Bolton’s fortunes. Just over 10 years ago we were successfully battling with the likes of Bayern Munich, Athletico Madrid and Red Star Belgrade on the European stage, while just over 10 days ago we stood on the brink of being liquidated.

It was as 2015 ended and the survival threatening financial situation of our club was laid bare that fans decided that action had to be taken and a huge public meeting led to the formation of the BWFCST. The early rush of interest however waned somewhat on the successful takeover of our club by the previous owners, no doubt because the view was that our club had been saved and the crisis averted.

Fast forward three years and the truth could not have been more different with our very survival called into question. Just down the road, a more extreme turnaround as our neighbours Bury were celebrating promotion at the end of April before sadly being expelled from the EFL a mere 4 months later.

These events underline why it is vital that fans have a vehicle to engage constructively with the club and its owners from a position of knowledge and influence, and this is why the need for an influential and inclusive Supporter’s Trust is as important today as it was in January 2016.

In reality, clubs are potentially one ownership change away from a crisis situation, and Trust initiated measures in having the stadium listed as an Asset of Community Value and the creation of the Bolton Wanderers Community Interest Company to facilitate Community Bids for a stake in the ownership of the club are vital in helping safeguard our future.

Early dialogue with the new owners has proved positive and the Trust is hopeful of a much more mature relationship going forward, allowing us to progress initiatives like the return of the Fan Zone, a memorandum of understanding with the new owners, appropriate challenge of the EFL and increased fan participation, ownership and involvement in the future direction of our great club.

I reiterate that the Trust is there for all fans and seeks to further the best interests of Bolton Wanderers, and I welcome all to get involved in shaping our future direction and initiatives.

While we can look forward to the future with a well placed and renewed sense of optimism, I sincerely believe that a Supporter’s Trust is for life and not just the next crisis.

I look forward to working with you all to help take our great club back to where we belong.

Terence Rigby
BWFCST Chair

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