Ameobi speaks out after Bolton exit: “We were continually being told lies”
10 June 2019
Players were forced to withdraw a complaint to the EFL to get their unpaid wages, but they never got them.
Former Bolton player Sammy Ameobi alleges the players were being told lies by the club.
Sammy Ameobi first came to Bolton Wanderers on a loan spell but ended up staying at the club and made 91 appearances for the Wanderers, before he decided to call it quits and look for a new club.
With 12 months left on his contract, the former Newcastle United player cancelled his contract after going unpaid since February due to Bolton’s dire financial situation. The club have since been put into administration, but Ameobi alleges the players were lied to during the process.
“We were continually being told lies, or at least that’s how it felt,” he said in an interview with The Bolton News. “We were being asked to stay patient, told that something was happening, told that accounts were being unfrozen and that there was money to pay wages, but nothing.”
Brentford game was decisive
The players decided to go on a strike, which meant the Brentford game was first postponed and since cancelled. According to Ameobi, the breaking point for the players came a week before the game, where they were told money was being accessed from frozen accounts to pay their wages.
For a big club with such history to be brought down by one man, taking it to this point, it is a huge shame.
There was a condition though. The players had to withdraw a written complaint to the EFL which threatened to put the club under a 12-month transfer embargo. Despite disagreements amongst the players, they decided to try and help the club, not only for their own sakes but also for the staff on significantly lower wages.
“They wanted us to stop the process with the EFL, so we gave them an extra week to get things done. That was the last straw for me.”
Hope to see them back
Ameobi says he owes Bolton a lot, as they gave him a second chance after his football career was derailing.
But he feels the blame for the club’s downfall comes down to one man – former owner Ken Anderson.
“For a big club with such history to be brought down by one man, taking it to this point, it is a huge shame,” he said to The Bolton News.
“But I think you have to look forward. I’m hoping that once you get through the administration process that things will be sorted and that the club can return to the level it deserves to be.”
“With Ken Anderson gone the whole place can move on.”
Wanderers were relegated from the Championship and on 13th May the EFL confirmed that they will start off their League One season with a 12-point deduction, as per EFL regulations.