Doncaster Rovers: Bolton Wanderers call off Tuesday night's game - without consulting Rovers first

Doncaster Rovers were not consulted over Bolton Wanderers’ decision to call off the scheduled meeting between the two sides on Tuesday night, we understand.

By Liam Hoden
Monday, 19th August 2019, 5:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 12:51 am
University of Bolton Stadium
University of Bolton Stadium

Rovers had been set to travel to the University of Bolton Stadium for a League One clash with troubled Bolton and had completed their preparations for the game by Monday lunchtime.

However, the Lancashire club – currently in administration – announced at around 3.45pm on Monday that they were postponing the fixture out of concern for the welfare of the young group of players that have represented the club so far this season.

It is understood Rovers had not been made aware of the decision prior to a public statement being issued.

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Bolton’s administrators revealed medicals and coaching staff had raised concerns about the teenagers playing a fourth game in 11 matches.

The club are awaiting a takeover by Football Ventures and are unable to sign players, which has left them fielding youth players in each game this season.

Wanderers boss Phil Parkinson admitted after Saturday’s 5-0 defeat to Tranmere Rovers that he had written to the EFL to voice concerns over the welfare of several U18 players who had played three games in seven days and were facing a fourth in 11 had the match with Rovers gone ahead as planned.

Parkinson believed the youngest players in his squad risked injury if they were forced through another high intensity fixture.

A statement from Paul Appleton, speaking on behalf of administrators David Rubin and Partners said: “It is with real regret and a deepening sense of frustration that we have been forced to postpone tomorrow's fixture against Doncaster Rovers.

“Whilst the possibility of EFL sanctions is obvious, nothing can be allowed to impact on the welfare of such a young group of players.

“With so many senior players injured or unavailable, the squad has performed heroically and deserves so much credit.

“But after consultation with the club's medical staff as well as both academy and senior football management, it is obvious that to call on them for another match without an adequate break would be detrimental to both their welfare and development which cannot be allowed.

“We were able to bring in reinforcements before the match against Coventry because the deal was so close to completion.

“Now, following recent events, the legal position of various parties has altered which means a delay in completion. In this situation, it is very difficult to attract available players to the club.

“I will be discussing the implications with the EFL but in the meantime, I would call on all parties involved with the acquisition of the club and hotel to end this intolerable delay and secure once and for all the future of Bolton Wanderers.

“Further details on reimbursement for any tickets sold for tomorrow's game will follow.”