What happens now with Doncaster Rovers' controversial trip to Bolton Wanderers?

The long-running saga surrounding Doncaster Rovers’ cancelled trip to Bolton Wanderers took another turn on Tuesday with the news the EFL had failed in their appeal against the punishment handed down to the Lancashire side.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 12:25 pm

The EFL felt a suspended five point deduction and fine issued by an independent disciplinary panel after Bolton failed to fulfil fixtures with Rovers and Brentford was too lenient.

So, what is the status of Rovers’ away game at Bolton, which should have been played on August 20?

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University of Bolton Stadium
University of Bolton Stadium

WHAT HAVE THE EFL SAID?

The EFL have held the stance from the very start that the game should be rearranged and have reiterated that in their reporting of their failed appeal.

It is belief of the EFL board that points should be won on the pitch and not via disciplinary panels.

The EFL were unhappy with what they termed the leniency of the original punishment handed down by the disciplinary panel and contested that - not the status of the game.

WHAT WILL ROVERS DO?

Rovers, while unhappy with the entire situation, have accepted the decisions and will work to rearrange the fixture in the coming months.

The club hierarchy were vehemently against the fixture being rearranged and feel Rovers are worse off after the situation while Bolton have escaped relatively unscathed.

Various options for legal action were considered but Rovers are now keen to draw a line under the whole situation and move on.

The club have subsequently released a statement, which reads: "Doncaster Rovers note the outcome of EFL’s appeal following the independent panel’s disciplinary hearing into Bolton’s cancellation of their fixture against us and failure to fulfil a previous game against Brentford.

"Bolton pleaded guilty to the charges, with the independent panel deciding that our fixture should be rearranged along with a fine and suspended points deduction.

"We backed the EFL’s appeal, believing the decision has the ability to undermine the integrity of the competition, and will now review the panel’s findings.

"Everyone at Rovers is glad Bolton survived their financial problems, we wish them well under their new ownership and will work to schedule the fixture which had been cancelled by Bolton back in August."

WHEN WILL THE FIXTURE BE REARRANGED FOR?

It does not look likely to be any time soon given the packed schedule over the next few months.

The meeting between the two sides at the Keepmoat on February 11 will almost certainly take place before the trip to the University of Bolton Stadium.

Rovers already have seven fixtures in February and also have the away trip to Portsmouth to reschedule at some point.

The best guess would be a Tuesday night in March - all of which are currently blank for Rovers.