Coronavirus: Bolton place some staff on furlough as directors agree ‘significant pay reduction’

Sky Bet League One club Bolton Wanderers have placed a number of staff on furlough, while senior management have taken a “significant pay reduction”.

Bolton were on the brink of financial collapse over the summer before a takeover, but continue to face challenges on and off the pitch, having started the new campaign with a 12-point deduction.

The hotel at Bolton’s stadium had already closed its doors to all but key-workers of the emergency services as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic took hold across the country.

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The club continue to liaise with the EFL over potential support, but in an open letter from chairman Sharon Brittan and Michael James, of Football Ventures, the problems faced were clear.

“Whilst the serious effects (of Coronavirus) hinder our plans for rebuilding, we remain committed to ensuring that the club and hotel rise again beyond this crisis. As a sign of this commitment we have confirmed that all staff will receive their full salaries in March,” the statement read.

“With football seemingly suspended for a prolonged period of time, and the hotel being closed indefinitely, the effect on both businesses has been severe.

“Of course, the potential length of the crisis will dictate the overall impact, but we must take all necessary steps to put a protective shield on both the club and hotel to ensure we come through the other side.

“With regards to these steps, we have placed a number of staff on ‘furlough’. This is key Government support, being taken up by many businesses and football clubs, which will enable us to protect as many jobs as possible.”

Professional football in England will not resume until 30 April at the earliest – but with the country currently in lockdown, that appears a very optimistic target date.

When matches were suspended, Keith Hill’s Bolton side were bottom of the table on 14 points. Bolton confirmed the financial implications would impact through the whole club.

“In addition to the furlough scheme, those members of the Senior Management who will continue to work have taken a significant pay reduction,” the statement continued.

“We are also continuing to liaise with the EFL in relation to the support they can provide in relation to the football staff.

“We have spoken previously about our admiration for the employees of this business, whose loyalty in the face of adversity has been beyond commendable. It is for this reason that we wish we could guarantee all jobs.

“However, as we move forward and the effects of the crisis become even more serious, difficult decisions may need to be taken in order to preserve both businesses.

“We appreciate the effect that the present uncertainty is having on people’s lives and well-being.

“As ever, we are working hand in hand with the club’s Community Trust to provide support to all staff and members of the local community.”

PA

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