Gordon Taylor has told talkSPORT the PFA is providing loans to help out Bolton’s unpaid players, and has slammed for English Football League for failing one of their historic founding clubs.
The Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive joined Jim White on Thursday to share the latest on the ongoing financial crisis at the Greater Manchester club.
The Trotters, who were relegated to League One and placed in administration at the end of last season, have been left with just SIX players in their first-team squad.
Many of their team were released at the end of their contracts, but they – along with the players still on their books and members of club staff – have not been paid their wages for almost FIVE MONTHS.
Bolton’s player spokesperson revealed the extent of their misery on Thursday – saying they have been left ‘desperate and stressed’ about their financial woes and have not even had hot water for showers at their training ground.
Taylor says the players’ union has supported and will continue to support those who have been left out of pocket, but he conceded the cash-strapped club has been left in a ‘real financial mess’.
And the PFA chief told talkSPORT they may take the issue to FIFA, and that there is a very real possibility Bolton Wanderers may fold for good.
Speaking to Jim White, Taylor said: “We’ve made loans to the players and we’ll make more loans to the players.
“We’re dealing with the administrators but they’ve been involved since May now and we’re still not confident it will be resolved.
“I’ve explained to them the main thing at any football clubs is the players, and they’ve got a football creditors rule to make sure they’re paid their money.
“We’ve said to the EFL, ‘you’ve got to be strong enough to enforce your own regulations otherwise you’re leaving us no alternative but to go to FIFA’, the world governing body, where they will give those clubs sanctions and will determine whether they exist or not.
“That’s how serious the situation is now. The game is not looking after its players, there are contracts that are not being honoured and there are sanctions that should be put in place.
“The administrations have said we’ll defer the wages and it may be two years, but the average career is eight years so that’s a quarter of their careers – we can’t have that!
“We’re seriously considering now going to FIFA to get this matter resolved in the hope that would be the necessary pressure on them.
“The season is coming upon us, the club has got to have proper friendly games and it’s totally unsatisfactory. It’s extremely frustrating for us.”
On the PFA’s support of the unpaid Bolton players, Taylor added: “We will loan the players money; we don’t want to see any players in hardship, that’s what our funds are for.
“But it shouldn’t need to go to that, otherwise we’re just going to have more and more clubs with the same situation and the EFL is not grasping the nettle.
“We’ve already loaned a considerable amount of money and will loan them more money, but we need to know the administrators have got the resources.
“It’s happening at Bolton and there are similar situations at Bury, Macclesfield and Notts County.
“The game has never had more money going into it and yet I can’t recall when we’ve had four clubs where players have been owned money for such a length of time.”
Bolton avoided a winding-up order when former chairman Ken Anderson put the club into administration back in May, but, according to Taylor, it may not be enough to save the club’s future.
The Trotters were one of the 12 founding clubs of the original Football League in 1888, but Taylor believes they could soon cease to exist because of their financial plight.
“I’m afraid so, because it has got into a real financial mess,” he told Jim White.
“Administrators have been in place since May and we’re now in July – that’s indicative of the problem.
“There has not been enough good assessment from the EFL with one of its original founding clubs, it’s as simple as that.
“They were very positive when it was announced the takeover was going through, but that’s hasn’t got over the line yet.
“I’m not so certain the potential buyers are real football people and understand how the game works, so from that point of view I am not filled with a high amount of confidence at the moment I’m afraid.”