The farcical situation that Brentford Football Club finds itself in – following Bolton Wanderers’ players decision to go on strike last weekend – will drag on after the Bees’ expected season-end on Sunday afternoon.
Despite statements from Bolton’s owner, and prospective new owner, that indicated the club was obliged to fulfil the fixture this midweek, as of Tuesday morning, no date has been set and the situation with the Wanderers players outstanding wages remains unresolved.
To confuse things even further, the Football League have given the Lancashire club the option of playing the match until Thursday 9th May, which will be a significant inconvenience to Brentford Football Club and its players, many of whom have already made plans to head off for their summer breaks, or to rest ahead of June’s international matches.
It would appear the Football League are going to allow Bolton Wanderers until May 9th to fulfill the cancelled match, which would require our players to continue training next week after our ‘final’ fixture. Is that acceptable? #BrentfordFC #bwfc
— Beesotted Brentford (@Beesotted) April 29, 2019
It is clear from comments made by both Bolton and Bees fans on Beesotted’s Twitter and Facebook pages that the supporters find the current situation unacceptable, sentiment that is backed up by 92% of the 780 fans who took part in our poll yesterday. The issue was also spoken about at length on this week’s Beesotted Lovesport radio show that can be head by clicking the link below.
Several alternatives have been mooted, rather than forcing the players to play the dead rubber fixture, including awarding the Bees a 3-0 win and the three points, however, there seems to be a lack of leadership or clarity from the football authorities and Bolton have clearly lost control of their players.
Why should Brenrford FC, or its supporters, head north again to ‘perhaps’ play against a cobbled together youth or B team opposition, a solution that does the Championship’s stature and reputation no good whatsoever… we fulfilled our obligations regarding the original fixture and that is where the matter should end.
The authorities are fortune that the Bees’ fixture, and Bolton’s scheduled match against Nottingham Forest on Sunday, does not affect critical promotion or relegation positions, or the play-off positions, however, there should be crystal clear rules for this situation, and swift and definitive action taken to resolve the matter.
We feel genuinely sorry for the Bolton fans – nobody takes any pleasure in seeing a proud old football club in such jeopardy – but at the end of the day the EFL need to grasp the nettle and sort this mess out.
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