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‘Surprised’ – Bolton Wanderers League One spending admission made in bid to reach Championship



Ian Evatt recognises Bolton Wanderers may need to spend a bit more money in a highly competitive League One in a bid to gain promotion to the Championship but is adamant the club will be strategic with that and not overspend.

Wanderers finished the recently concluded regular season ninth in League One, their first back in the division since being relegated in 2020 and secured a top 10 finish on the final day of the campaign. They finished with a points tally of 73 and 10 from the play-offs.

League One this campaign boasted the likes of Wigan Athletic, Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland, Charlton Athletic, Ipswich Town and Portsmouth alongside Wanderers in a competitive division. The Owls, Tractor Boys, Addicks and Pompey will remain in the division next season.

READ MORE: Rangers linked with transfer for Bolton Wanderers star Dapo Afolayan as value revealed

Sunderland could also still be in the division next season should they lose the play-off final next Saturday to Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley. Derby County, Barnsley and Peterborough United will all drop down from the Championship to League One after suffering relegation.

Evatt admits that there has been surprise at the level of expenditure and technical ability in the division. He puts that down to better players being needed owing to bigger clubs in the division spending money.

He believes there is ‘huge gulf’ in the two halves of League One owing to the raft of former Premier League teams in the top half of the division. Though there is big spending in the division and Evatt recognises Wanderers may need to increase their outlay, they will not join the upper echelons of League One in terms of spending top money.

Evatt wants the Whites to do it more strategically and accepts that more may need to be spent in a bid to make Wanderers more competitive in the fight for promotion to the Championship. And he believes all at Wanderers in every department, allied to the fans purchasing season tickets, have helped give the club a better platform to invest this summer.

He said: “I think personally if we’re all honest and open, we’ve all been surprised at the level of expenditure in this division this season and also I’ve been surprised in terms of the technical level itself. That is down to better players and bigger clubs spending more money.

“I think there’s a huge gulf between the top half of this league and the bottom and that’s no disrespect to the bottom at all, but we’re talking about ex-Premier League teams here. We’re talking about teams with huge fanbases, huge revenues, spending vast amounts of money.

“We don’t want to be that to be truthful, we want to be smarter and more strategic than that, but we do recognise that we might need to spend some more money to make us more competitive and to give us a better chance of getting into the Championship.

“That doesn’t guarantee you anything. Spending money doesn’t guarantee you success and that’s important to recognise as well that if it was that way, then football would be a pretty boring game because everyone would know exactly where you’d finish every season with what you spend, but it’s about building from the bottom, building structures and platforms and solid bases to be able to succeed from and I think that’s exactly what we’ve done.

“Yes, we recognise that we may need to recruit more and spend a little bit more but in no way shape or form does that mean we’re going to oversell or spend more. We want to be smart, we want to be strategic and what I must say is all the work that’s going on with everybody involved in the football club – I’m talking about the commercial department selling advertising, the hotel, people using and spending money there, the events that we have, all the staff that’s involved in that – it’s a collective effort.

“On top of that, the fans have been absolutely brilliant buying tickets. All that helps make us more sustainable and gives us a better platform to go and recruit better players. We’re excited, we know we need to do more, we will do more, we know what’s needed in the summer and good times are coming.”





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