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Bolton players threaten to boycott rest of the season

Bolton Wanderers' players have said they will not play their final two Championship fixtures of the season unless they receive their unpaid wages.

Players have still not been paid their March salaries, with April's wages due to be paid on Tuesday, 30 April.

The squad said in a statement that the situation is "creating mental, emotional and financial burdens for people through no fault of their own".

They added that it was "placing great strain on ourselves and our families".

The players have also apologised to supporters for what "may be seen as drastic action" but stressed the decision has "not been taken lightly" and that they have taken the stance "with deep regret".

BBC Radio Manchester has contacted Bolton for comment, while a scheduled pre-match press conference with manager Phil Parkinson was postponed on Friday with no reason given by the club.

Earlier this month, Bolton's players refused to train for 48 hours on behalf of staff after March wages went unpaid. Full-time non-playing staff eventually received their March wages after a delay.

The Professional Footballers' Association has also stepped in to help pay wages at the club earlier this season.

Bolton defender Andrew Taylor, who is also the club's PFA repre­sen­tative, told BBC Radio 5 Live on 12 April that Bolton's off-field issues were affecting players' personal lives and he claimed some players had paid for scholars to get to training as they were unable to afford train tickets.

Parkinson later said that chief scout Tim Breacker could not afford to travel to watch games as he has not been paid for three months.

Last week, former Watford owner Laurence Bassini claimed he had saved Wanderers "at the 11th hour" and prevented them from going into admi­nis­tra­tion after he agreed a deal to buy the club from Ken Anderson.

The takeover, which remains subject to English Football League approval, was confirmed by the club on 17 April, two days before their defeat by Aston Villa confirmed Bolton's relegation to League One.

The statement from Bolton's players said "The long-running financial crisis at our club has been well-documented. As has the fact that we, the playing staff, have yet to receive our March salaries. Five of our coaching staff are also yet to be paid for March.

"We have endeavoured to continue our training and playing commitments during this extremely difficult time, with seemingly no resolution in sight.

"We thought that the prospective takeover of the club would provide a solution, but difficulties in its completion have left us no further forward.

"This situation is creating mounting mental, emotional and financial burdens for people through no fault of their own. The mental pressure has affected some people to the extent that they feel they are unable to perform their jobs sufficiently.

"These are unprecedented circumstances and are affecting every aspect of our lives, placing great strain on ourselves and our families.

"During this time we have remained patient in hope of some explanation but information from the club has been extremely limited and very confusing. What we have been told changes constantly.

"With deep regret, we have decided not to fulfil our remaining fixtures unless we are paid. We understand that this will disappoint our fans and for this we sincerely apologise.

"We realise this may be seen as drastic action but we feel we have no other options left. This decision has not been taken lightly and is not a reaction to this one particular incident.

"We have suffered numerous issues this season, and recent seasons, brought on by the mismanagement of this club. We have been operating in a near untenable environment for some time and it is the accumulation of these issues that have resulted in our decision."

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