Bolton owner Ken Anderson has posted another of his infamous ‘notes from the chairman‘ today. His column, as well as featuring plenty of the usual finger-pointing, also highlights just how Bolton’s Premier League spending has devastated the club since its relegation to the Championship in 2012.
Anderson states: “the most important thing to appreciate is that this club cannot survive, let alone prosper on its current revenue streams in any division outside the Premiership without the benefit of substantial and continued financial support from a wealthy benefactor.
“This is clearly the case with virtually every other club in the Championship.”
That’s what I’d like to delve into today, rather than Anderson’s unsavoury blame game.
Bolton unlikely to be only case
It’s a story I fear we may well be hearing more of in the years to come. Former Premier League sides stumbling into the financial mire as their fall from the big time means severely reduced revenue streams.
In recent years, spending in the Premier League has exploded thanks to outrages amounts of TV money. The likes of Wolves, Fulham and Brighton have spent in excess of £60 million each this season, with Fulham churning out almost £100 million in player signings.
The unfair distribution of money in English football is severely damaging. While it may benefit the super-rich clubs at the top-end of the Premier League, those clubs teetering on the edge of the relegation zone could be thrown into real peril if they do find themselves in the Championship.
Fulham will have a real challenge on their hands in the next few years if they don’t manage a speedy return to the Premier League following their relegation this season.
A fairer way forwards?
It’s a similar story across all divisions of the EFL. While Premier League clubs can spend hundreds of millions of pounds in a single transfer window, historic clubs, like Bolton, up and down the country are struggling to keep themselves running.
While there is obviously the question of financial mismanagement at Bolton during their Premier League stay, the fact that spending half a decade in the Championship, and a year in League One, has all-but bankrupted the club should be a sign that all is not well with the current state of English football.
For a more sustainable league system, the outrageous amount of money being pumped into the Premier League really ought to be spread out more evenly across all divisions in the EFL.
It’s hardly a fair system if the likes of Manchester City can spend billions whereas Bolton are struggling to cobble together enough money to make it to the end of the season.