Oldham Athletic’s pre-season preparations could be about to be thrown into turmoil with the news that their friendly against Bolton Wanderers is now in doubt after Wanderers’ players announced they were going on strike.
It’s part of a long running row with the owner at the University of Bolton Stadium over unpaid wages with a statement released by the team earlier this claiming they hadn’t been paid for around 20 weeks.
The club was due to play non-league side Chester in a friendly on Friday night (19th July) but that was called off earlier in the week with Chester saying, in a statement: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused, and wish the players, supporters and staff at Bolton Wanderers the best of luck as they search for a resolution in a difficult time for their great football club,".
Oldham Athletic were due to host Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 27th July at Boundary Park but that game is now also in doubt with Bolton’s players giving no time scale as to when they’ll be back on the pitch.
In a statement earlier this week the squad said: “The players and coaching staff have not been paid by the club for 20 weeks and the administrators have not offered any financial assistance. It is our understanding that there are sufficient funds to provide financial help immediately, but there has been none.
“As we have stated in a previous statement, all this has caused severe mental and emotional stress, affecting both our professional and personal lives, and this has now only increased. Certain individuals are in need of support and none has been forthcoming from the club.
“With the new season looming, it is becoming impossible to prepare correctly for the challenge ahead. Contracted players and staff have returned to what they hoped would be a resolved situation and a fresh start for everyone.
“They have undertaken their duties and obligations with diligence and professionalism but how long is it reasonable for us to do so without being paid?”