Bolton Wanderers are destined for relegation after they suffered a points deduction that has derailed their entire season but will they be able to come back to League One at the first time of asking?
Bolton have been on a slippery slope since they were relegated from the Premier League in 2012. After being in the Premier League for eleven seasons they became a Premier League stalwart but suffered relegation to League One twice over the past five seasons. This time has been more damaging than the last.
With the club having huge troubles with finances and failing to meet the EFL’s standard they were docked 12 points at the start of the season. A huge handicap to a side who only had three outfield senior players at the start of the season. The club was in huge disarray and even came close to collapsing completely like Bury. They were saved at the 11th hour but the club is once again just surviving rather than pushing forward.
The club were forced to play youth team players as a way of fulfilling fixtures at the start of the season but on the 2nd September they were able to bring in recruits to relieve the teenagers of their duty. It has been a topsy turvy season and one they will want to forget.
Despite the docking of 12 points they would still be in a relegation scrap but would have a better chance of staying up if the EFL had not been so harsh on them.
Next season, will be a real test for Bolton because if they are not careful they could find themselves on the wrong end of another relegation. With the EFL already close to putting a five point deduction on Bolton for next season due to unfilled fixtures, they could be dealt another blow for the start of the season in League Two.
It is more than likely that Bolton fans are wanting the fresh start because ploughing through games at the moment with no real way of escaping danger is tedious and monotones. With no win in six games it is tough going for the fans especially after two late goals saw them lose a point against Blackpool and Coventry City.
In manager Keith Hill, they do have an experienced league manager as he has managed at Barnsley and Rochdale twice; winning two League Two promotions with Rochdale. If they can keep hold of the Bolton born manager they will be in a better position than if they have to hire a new one.
Despite results not going their way, Bolton have troubled opposition sides at times and been unlucky in several defeats so if they are able to keep hold our the core of their squad then they should be challenging for promotion realistically. The expectation might not be automatic but certainly the play offs, however, if there is a big overhaul of players coming in and out then they might find themselves in a sticky situation.
It is no easy task escaping League Two and you have to ask Colchester United fans who have seen their side stuck in League Two after spending twelve seasons in League One or the Championship. Bolton should bounce straight back but they need the core of the team to stay on for another year.