“I Have Every Confidence In What We Are Doing Here” – Bolton Wanderers Chief Executive Makes Promotion Claim

Bolton Wanderers chief executive Neil Hart has emphasised that the club will not be overspending in the summer transfer window if they are to make their ambition of promotion to the Championship a reality.

Currently sat four points off of Derby County in second, but with a game in hand, the Wanderers’ ambitions of automatic promotion are still alive but no longer in their hands. After losing to the aforementioned Derby prior to the international break, they may now be looking at promotion via the play-offs this season. However they were handed a huge lifeline after Derby lost to Northampton at the weekend, keeping the gap at four points.

Ian Evatt’s side are still in a relatively strong position, and winning their game in hand would make things very interesting. They look more or less nailed to finish in the top six this season though regardless. It’s highly unlikely that they’ll be a team anyone will want to face if able to carry some momentum into the post-season and they certainly have the firepower in their ranks when the squad is fully fit.

It’s been a hard couple of months for the Whites who have been heavily hit with injuries. Although their quality is still shining through, a full strength team would’ve most likely seen them be higher up the table, but nonetheless they still hold a good chance of promotion this season.

Bolton currently have the structure both in terms of infrastructure but also club staff to perform in the Championship, something that chief executive Neil Hart emphasised in an interview with The Bolton News.

“If Bolton went up into the Championship then I have every confidence in what we are doing here, the staff, the people behind the scenes and the capabilities we possess. It would be challenging, no doubt, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

“You look at clubs like Luton recently who have gone right through and done very well. You see clubs like Plymouth, who have what you’d consider a lower-end Championship budget, holding their own.

“The initial Burnley story – I won’t divulge the numbers, but they are similar to Luton in that respect – so it can be done with a bit of smartness, the right manager, the right board and executives. Get those things aligned and it can be done.”

Hart was also asked about a potential ‘New Deal’ between the Premier League and EFL for increased funding.

“Like any club, we know that if we went up to the Championship now what our revenue would be with and without the New Deal, and the difference is significant.

“It is very challenging. You still have clubs coming down from the Premier League who are operating on four or five times that. That doesn’t seem especially fair to me but that is the environment that has been created.

“Do I see a solution? Well, it is a really difficult one to solve. I have seen some chief executives and chairmen saying ‘it’s finished, it’s over’ but I wouldn’t go down that road. It is certainly not the case.

Writer’s View

It’s been a tough or at least less than ideal couple of months for Bolton Wanderers, with a long injury list as well as underperforming in some games seeing their automatic promotion chances fall out of their hands.

They do however still hold a chance of automatic promotion, and if not finishing in the top two, then they do also have the play-offs to fall back on. Perhaps most importantly though, the club already have a plan in place for the future whether that be in the Championship or League One.

It’s a busy Easter weekend for the Wanderers who travel to Stevenage on Friday before hosting Reading the following Monday. Six points from those two games would go a long way for their promotion chances.

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