Wanderers fans were greeted with the surprise news last night that manager Phil Parkinson and his assistant Steve Parkin have both resigned from their roles at the club.
The news has prompted a wave of emotion and sympathy for the manager who has remained dignified and loyal to the club through the most challenging period in its long history.
Parkinson’s decision to resign from his role at Bolton is more than a little understandable but where does it leave Wanderers going forward and what happens next?
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Saying goodbye to Phil Parkinson
Before we get onto the next stage of Bolton’s managerial position, we’d like to take a moment to examine Parky’s rein at Wanderers – much like every other news and fan site out there.
Parkinson joined Bolton following five successful years as Bradford City’s manager which saw the Bantams reach the 2013 League Cup final after dispatching the likes of Arsenal and Wigan on their route to the final.
Despite the apparent stature of Bolton Wanderers, Parkinson was greeted with a tough challenge as the club dropped into the third tier for the first time in over 20 years and was lumbered with a transfer embargo.
Somehow, Parkinson through a team of freebies and loanees together and set about gaining promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt and did so in emphatic fashion as Parky’s Wanderers dispatched Peterborough in a stylish 3-0 win.
The following season saw Wanderers struggle in the highly competitive Championship. It was only on the final day of the season that Bolton’s status was secured thanks to a heroic victory against Nottingham Forest.
Last season will undoubtedly be one to forget for both Parky and Wanderers’ fans. There was no final-day miracle that could save Bolton from the turmoil it was about to experience as the club plunged into administration in May 2019 and it’s something that still haunts the club now.
Despite the considerable the trouble Bolton found itself in, Parky remained calm and resolute throughout the summer and hopeful that new ownership was on the horizon. But as we all know that is yet to materialise.
The exact reasons for Parkinson and Parkin’s resignation are unknown but you can’t blame him for saying goodbye to Wanderers now, very few would have had the patience and resolve to work under such tough conditions.
Towards the end, you could see that Parky was at the end of his tether, his outburst telling Laurence Bassini to ‘leave us alone’ was a welcome statement to hear but a huge hint that the manager had, after three long years at the club, had enough.
During his three years at Bolton, Parkinson earned few plaudits for his on-field tactics but he has surely earned the respect of the majority of the fanbase for his hard graft and dignity in the face horrendous adversity.
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What happens next?
Much like everything surrounding Bolton Wanderers right now, no one is quite sure.
It was reported by The Bolton News last night that Jimmy Phillips would take over first-team managerial duties for the foreseeable future.
It wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Bolton’s academy boss draft in support from Wanderers’ U18 and U23 bosses Nicky Spooner and David Lee to help coach this young Bolton team over the next few weeks.
Where Bolton stand off the pitch is still hugely unclear as it has been all summer.
We’d like to think that Parky’s decision to call time on his Bolton career was so that new owners could come in and bring in their own manager.
However, given that everything on the takeover front has been deathly quiet since Laurence Bassini’s High Court injunction was served who knows when Bolton’s ownership ordeal will finally be sorted?
In the meantime, all we’re able to do is thank Phil Parkinson and Steve Parkin for their dedicated service and we wish them both well for the future.