Bolton could find themselves in hot water with the EFL for postponing their upcoming home match against Doncaster Rovers but what punishment do Wanderers face for suspending the fixture?
The decision comes as the club’s medical staff have advised against such a young group of players taking part in four 4 matches in 11 days without an adequate break.
In a statement released on the club’s website last night, aimed at explaining the reason for the postponement, Bolton’s joint administrator Paul Appleton revealed that: “Whilst the possibility of EFL sanctions is obvious, nothing can be allowed to impact on the welfare of such a young group of players.”
It’s understandable that this decision has been taking as the last thing the club wants is for 16, 17, 18-year-old kids to pick up a serious and potentially career-ending injury so soon into their footballing career.
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However, the EFL has since responded to the situation with a statement of its own which states: “The EFL understands the challenging position the Club currently finds itself in whilst negotiations continue over its purchase. However, it would have expected the Club to have first interfaced with the EFL, giving it an opportunity to consider the application to postpone, and consulted with the Club’s opposition, Doncaster Rovers before making a public announcement.”
As a result of Bolton postponing the match, sanctions of some sort seem to be on the agenda for our troubled club.
What said sanctions are, remain to be seen at this stage.
It mustn’t be forgotten that Wanderers could still face punishment for failing to fulfil last season’s Brentford home fixture but it’s been over three months since then and no punishment has been issued by the EFL.
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This time around, however, Wanderers may not be so lucky. But just what sanctions can the EFL realistically dish out?
The EFl are left with two real options. The first is likely to be a fine, which would arguably be ineffective as we all know that Wanderers don’t have any money and currently reside in administration thanks to the club’s widely reported financial woes.
The second could be a further points deduction, taking us back below Bury in the table. But when we’re already down in the doldrums on -11 points and already staring relegation in the face after just three league games, this would be piling on extra punishment purely for the sake of it.
However, given the fact that Wanderers have waited for three months for punishment for not playing last season’s Brentford match, we’re unlikely to learn anything about sanctions for postponing this Doncaster fixture until around December.
In the meantime, Wanderers’ next game, unless that is postponed as well, is Saturday’s home fixture against Ipswich Town who were also relegated to League One over the summer.