Bolton Wanderers news: Andy Taylor speaks out on player strike and slams ‘poor’ EFL for lack of support

30 Apr

Bolton Wanderers defender Andy Taylor has insisted he and his team-mates were forced in striking over their unpaid wages and are still in the dark over what’s going on at the crisis-hit club.

The 32-year-old left-back, who is acting as a representative of the Trotters players, joined talkSPORT on Tuesday to lift the lid on the dire situation at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Things have gone from bad to worse at the relegated club over the past week, with reports now suggesting Laurence Bassini’s proposed takeover is on the verge of collapse.

There is a huge cloud of uncertainly surrounding Bolton

There are doubts whether the former Watford chairman has the funds required to complete the deal, after he failed to fulfil his pledge to pay the players’ wages for March last week.

That led to Saturday’s Championship game against Brentford being postponed, after the Bolton players came through on their threat to strike having yet to be paid their wages for March and April.

Speaking to talkSPORT host Max Rushden, Taylor admitted the decision to strike was regrettable, insisting the team care about Bolton.

But the Trotters defender also revealed the players have had no communication from current chairman Ken Anderson and his boardroom and had to take action.

“For the last few months we’ve tried to get answers, but unfortunately Ken Anderson is a difficult man to get in touch with,” Taylor said.

“Over these last two months, answers and communication has completely stopped.

“We’re in no clearer place than anybody else, the fans, media, we don’t know anything.

Bolton owner Ken Anderson has been hammered for his handling of the club’s finances

“That’s one of the biggest problems for us as a group. We’ve still got bills to pay, we’ve still got lives, and once it starts to affect your personal life and your family life then it becomes an issue.

“We’ve done everything asked of us in terms of getting on with our job professionally, doing things right and to the best of our ability, but ultimately after so long it’s starting to have a huge impact on our lives and the staff’s lives.

“As a group we just felt we had to make some sort of stance because we were going nowhere with things.”

That lack of communication has also extended to the English Football League, with Taylor taking aim at bosses for their ‘poor’ handling of the club’s situation.

The Bolton man slammed the EFL for their lack of support and communication with the team, and accused the organisation of falling short in their duty of care for players’ well-being.

“I think the EFL certainly need to do more,” he said. “The way they’ve handled the situation is poor.

“The statements they’ve released regarding us having to play the game, and expecting our Under-18s to go into a Championship game against Brentford, there’s no consideration for players’ well-being or anything like that.

“It seems like all it is, is to fulfil their fixture list. I could be wrong and if they’ve got a better explanation I’d love to hear it, because we don’t get to hear anything.

“I spoke to [EFL chief executive] Shaun Harvey on Thursday night on the phone and told him of our intentions, and since then? Nothing.

“We’re just reading the statements that get released.”

Bolton fans have campaigned against Ken Anderson’s ownership throughout the season

Asked to share his message to Bolton fans, Taylor added: “To try and stay positive.

“We’re all in the same boat, we’re all dealing with this. Yes, it’s us players who are the ones dealing with things in terms of money and not getting paid, but as fans you just want to be proud of your club and unfortunately, certainly over this season, there are been too many times where there has been a negative story and a negative atmosphere around the club.

“I feel sorry for fans. It hasn’t been great on the pitch but it’s been a hell of a lot worse off the pitch.

“I just hope we all stick together.”

Listen to talkSPORT’s interview with Bolton’s Andy Taylor IN FULL above