Bolton Wanderers set up emergency food bank to help staff after wages go unpaid

Bolton Wanderers were relegated from to League One after finishing 23rd in the Championship this season
Bolton Wanderers were relegated from to League One after finishing 23rd in the Championship this season

Bolton Wanderers have set up an emergency food bank with donations from local businesses to help out staff who have not been paid.

During a turbulent year for the club on and off the field, non-playing employees have not been paid for April.

The Trotters, who were relegated to League One this season, became the first club to enter administration for six years on Monday.

"We're grateful for the support," club chaplain Phil Mason said.

"Often there is this perception that within football, people are paid a king's ransom, but of course the reality is that a lot of staff behind the scenes are on significantly low wages.

"They've got mortgages or rent to pay, they may have something coming up within their family and they've got food to put on the table as well as get to and from work."

It has been a tough season for the club, with players still to receive their salaries for March and April, alongside a return to League One after two seasons in the Championship.

Businesses have helped provide toiletries and nappies, as well as tinned goods, pasta, rice, freezer meals, frozen vegetables and bread.

And the Community Trust have also been given assistance from within the wider football community, including an unnamed Championship club believed to be Preston North End.

"It's tremendous that we've had support from a Championship club," Mason told BBC Radio Manchester.

"They have donated a significant amount in terms of Asda and Sainsbury's vouchers so we can use those in order to get additional provisions for the food supplies that we're offering to staff."

'Staff are anxious about the future'

Some staff have found the ongoing problems at the club have exacerbated existing mental health issues, and the Trust is offering support and counselling to those who need it.

"It's incredibly stressful for staff, there's no doubt about that," Mason said.

"The reality is, one in three or four people will have mental health issues and they can be triggered by a whole variety of things, not least of course the fact a person has not been paid or is not sure when they will be paid,

"They're anxious about the future of the organisation they work for, they don't know whether they're going to be kept on or made redundant and all those issues end up in places of stress and anxiety and that has an impact upon relationships at home, at work, and how they feel about themselves and their own self worth."

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