Phil Parkinson: Bolton Wanderers takeover 'has to happen' soon, says boss

Phil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson's side announced two new signings an hour before kick-off on Saturday

Manager Phil Parkinson says the takeover of Bolton Wanderers "can't come soon enough" to help his side compete in League One this season.

Just three contracted senior outfield players travelled to Bolton's first game at Wycombe, as Parkinson gave eight players debuts in a 2-0 loss.

The Football Ventures group's purchase of Wanderers was expected to go through before the start of the season.

The consortium's head, Sharon Brittan, was at Adams Park for Saturday's match.

Parkinson said: "I'm told things are moving in the right direction concerning the takeover and it can't come soon enough.

"We've had a few games behind closed doors over pre-season and had a number of lads in, triallists and others, but because of the situation we've lost them.

"I sent an e-mail on the morning of the game to the prospective new management detailing what we need to get this great club back on its feet.

"If we can get things sorted then there is every chance we can be competitive at this level."

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, Parkinson said that he thought Brittan would be a "breath of fresh air" for the club, but added: "Each day that goes by is costing us a chance to build a squad to compete at this level.

"We cannot keep saying 'tomorrow it's going to happen, the next day.' It's got to happen.

"We are just pleased that we were able to put a team out today and the club has been able to fulfil the fixture. It would have been catastrophic for us not to have fulfilled this fixture today.

"All I can say is that Sharon came up to the hotel today. I've met her a couple of times and whatever happens in terms of myself and the staff going forward, I'm telling you now, Sharon Brittan will be outstanding for Bolton Wanderers Football Club.

"She's just what the club needs."

Football Ventures 'must have been blown away by the fans'

Midfield trio Jason Lowe, Luke Murphy and Erhun Oztumer, along with goalkeepers Remi Matthews and Ben Alnwick, were the only members of last season's first-team squad to travel to Wycombe.

The remainder of the matchday squad was made up of Under-23 and Under-18 players, plus James Weir and Josh Earl, whose signings were confirmed shortly before kick-off.

Saturday's match was under threat of suspension, until the English Football League (EFL) confirmed on Tuesday that Bolton had provided sufficient evidence of financial viability.

Before then, a trio of pre-season friendly matches were cancelled and players went five months without salaries - although it has been reported that contracted senior players received payments on Friday.

Nevertheless, more than 1,600 Bolton fans were at the club's opening game and they saw their young side perform admirably, despite losing to two second-half goals.

"The supporters have a lot of pride in the club and that was shown today with the numbers which turned out and the way they got behind the team and the club in general, so every credit to them," Parkinson added.

"I know Sharon was here today and her consortium, and just seeing that level of support, she must have been blown away by it really.

"If that [support] can push the deal over the line and be the thing, then hopefully it is the trigger to get the deal finally done."