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Bolton caretaker Jimmy Phillips urges rethink of how football is run

Bolton caretaker Jimmy Phillips urges rethink of how football is run
© Reuters
Bolton were saved from liquidation on Wednesday following a protracted takeover but neighbours Bury were expelled from the EFL.

Bolton interim manager Jimmy Phillips says urgent action is needed to protect the four-tier system in English professional football and prevent a repeat of Bury's demise.

The Trotters were saved from liquidation on Wednesday when Football Ventures (Whites) Limited took control of the 145-year-old club.

But the relief among Bolton fans was in stark contrast to the desolation felt by supporters of neighbours, and fellow League One side, Bury following their expulsion from the English Football League.

Bury's own last-minute rescue talks collapsed on Tuesday and the Shakers became the first club to be kicked out of the EFL since 1992.

"This is a real stark point of modern-day football," Phillips told

"Obviously the Premiership elite are getting richer and clubs at the other end of the spectrum are really struggling to survive.

"It's probably getting to the stage where the governing bodies need to have a good look at how football is run and how the monies are distributed.

Bolton Wanderers Plight
Fans gathered near the statue of Nat Lofthouse this week as Bolton's future hung in the balance (Peter Byrne/PA)

"We need checks put in place to make sure clubs aren't overstretching themselves if we still want to continue with this four-tier system of English football.

"It has served us well for well over 100 years, and the great thing about the four-tier system is that it's a good breeding ground for both players and members of staff."

Bolton's own future was safeguarded after administrators had warned the club could be placed into liquidation on Wednesday without a finalised takeover.

It looked to have collapsed on Monday but Football Ventures (Whites) Limited, led by Sharon Brittan, managed to get the deal done and save 150 jobs.

Phillips, who said the staff had met the new owners on Thursday, added: "The introductory speech from Sharon Brittan was chalk and cheese to the previous owners and how they conducted themselves.

"She said to all staff she's a winner in business and she wants to be a winner in football.

"It's going about winning in the right manner and how they treat people.

"Everybody left the room in a real positive mindset with smiles on their faces knowing we're going to have a bright future."

Bolton started the season with a 12-point deduction after going into administration.

Manager Phil Parkinson and his assistant Steve Parkin stepped down from their roles last week and a threadbare squad has been propped up with young players.

Four 17-year-olds started the 5-0 home defeat to Ipswich last weekend, the third consecutive game in which Bolton had conceded five goals.

But Bolton hope to sign four players before their League One game at Gillingham on Saturday.

Chelsea v Nottingham Forest – Carabao Cup – Third Round – Stamford Bridge
Bolton expect to make more additions after signing defender Jack Hobbs (Mike Egerton/PA)

"Jack Hobbs has definitely signed his contract and we've sent his paperwork off to the league," Phillips said.

"We're working on three other players and that will certainly help us with the starting line-up.

"It means we might be able to rest one or two of the younger players who have equipped themselves superbly well in a real challenge for them.

"I think every supporter realises that the young players do need a break."

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General view of Bury's Gigg Lane from 2014
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