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Radomir Antic : The Unique Servant Of The Game

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Radomir Antic: The Unique Servant Of The Game Who Managed Barca, Atletico & Madrid

Radomir Antic is respected by the vast majority of football fans in Spain. His career in the beautiful game has taken the Serbian from his home ground to South Africa via Luton, Istanbul, Barcelona and Madrid. It’s a unique footballing  quest that has taken twists and turns like no other.

The Soccer world has seen a whole lot of great managers dished out instructions from the dugouts, like the great Sir Alex Ferguson who comes with inspiring players. Jose Mourinho with his day to day controversies that excite the media, and the intricacy of Pep Guardiola, although anyone can become a manager of a team, pick a team, decides the tactics, not everyone can lead their team to glory.

More often than not, football managers are saddled with the tasks of bringing out the best in headstrong and volatile players, man manage them and bring out the best in them even when they’re faced with a great deal of criticism from the football aficionados or the media. The only manager or managers that could do all of that are the great ones.

Although, some may not have kicked a single ball as a player before becoming a manager, however, a good manager always makes sure he stamps his imprint on a game.

Cheapgoals will look at one of the unique servants of the game, though he may not be the Guardiola of this world or the Jurgen Kloop’s, Radomir Antic has definitely paid his dues, the Serbian remains the only coach to manage Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid.

Radomir Antic’s Journey  

Managers are paid to win games and most importantly trophies, if the team does well, then the manager is a success likewise the team he manages.

Fortunately, same can be said of Antic, whom we tag one of the unique servants of the game, who played most of his football career with Partizan Belgrade for almost 17 years as a defender winning the league in 1985-86 with the ‘Black & White.

Ironically he also started his coaching journey with his former team as an assistant manager in his home country where he worked under head coach Nehad Bjekovic.

In early 1987, things changed drastically in a negative way for Radomir Antic as an assistant manager when a new manager was brought in as the new head coach for the ‘Black & White’. During that period Antic got into a brawl with Jusufi the new manager over player personnel issues that resulted in him been demoted to the position of Partizan U16 youth team as a coach.

As years progress, Radomir Antic found his way down to Spain with Real Zaragoza, a team he had initially played for through the recommendation of his former manager Vujadin Boskov who led ‘Los Manos’ in the late 1970s and early ’80s.

Resuming as the head coach of Zaragoza in the summer, he made his debut in the league as a manager against Valencia with a fairly modest team without any really big names in the team.

Antic’s team can only boost of an aging Spanish International midfielder Juan Senor and Miguel Pardeza, although the team had some young players like Francisco Villarroya, Juan Vizcaino and Paraguayan goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert. During his stint with Los Manos the first season was rough and tough for him and his team was hovering in and around the relegation zone, which later followed up by a period of slight improvement.

Fortunately for Antic and his boys, he was able to turn things around during the last eight league matches of the season as they started posing win after win to climb up the league table. In the end, Zaragoza finished the season in fifth place and qualified for the UEFA Cup, he ended up spending two seasons managing the club he had also played for as a player.

Real Madrid came calling for Antic having relatively done a brilliant job for Real Zaragoza as a manager, he took over from the club legend Alfredo Di Stefano following Real Madrid elimination from the European Cup, now UEFA Champions League against Spartak Moscow at the quarter-finals stage.

Before Radomir Antic came in as Real Madrid manager, the Madrid based team were in a very difficult and disappointing season in the league as at that time after 26 matches played.

Los Blancos was in the seventh position on the league table and knowing Madrid for their knack for winning titles, unfortunately for them, they lived through a turmoil season after relieving John Toshack and Di Stefano of their job and brought in Radomir Antic in 1991.

Antic began his reign with Los Blancos against Real Oviedo at the Santiago Bernabeu in a disappointing manner with Fernando Hierro, Manolo Sanchis, Gheorghe Hagi, Butragueno and the aging Hugo Sanchez as the star players in the team then.

During this period things went worse for Antic against Real Burgos losing at home and against Luis Aragones led side Espanyol, a terrible performance that dropped them to 10 positions on the log.

Radomir Antic: The Unique Servant Of The Game Who Managed Barca, Atletico & Madrid

One thing that comes with managing the Madrid based side is the pressure from the Madrid faithful and the people at the helms. As such Antic started feeling the pressure of the hot seat at the Bernabeu having lost two matches and one draw.

However, things started falling in place for Radomir against Valencia, with an emphatic 4-0 win which brought about a five-match winning streak.

He ended the season with Madrid on a high against arch-rival Barcelona in El Clasico, finishing third on the league table and qualified Los Blancos for the UEFA Cup just like he achieved it with Real Zaragoza. The following season he started with an impressive winning streak, having brought in Robert Prosinecki from Red Star Belgrade and young Luis Enrique from Sporting Gijon.

Antic’s winning streak came to an end against the ‘Catalans’, Real Madrid began another winning streak in their match against Logrones, which lasted up to seven winning streaks as they clearly separated themselves from other teams chasing them on the log in the league.

As the season progresses, Antic’s team had a slight dip form recording a draw against Oviedo, and also going on to lose against crosstown rival Atletico Madrid.

During the slight lost of form, then club President Ramon Mendoza opted to appoint Leo Beenhakker to take over the role of a Sporting Director of the club, the coming of Beenhakker was more like a blessing in disguise for Antic as his team returns to winning way.

However, the Serbian contract was later terminated, having led Los Blancos to 19 league matches into the season, with a seven-point margin lead on the league table. Beenhakker took over as his successor.

When Antic left Madrid to join Real Oviedo replacing longtime coach Javier Irureta, he took over the reign from matchday 21 and managed to avoid relegation by finishing two spots above the relegation zone.

The following season Antic turned things around for Real Oviedo when he brought in players such as Slavisa Jokanovic from Partizan and injury-prone Robert Prosinecki from Real Madrid and he led the team to a respectable 9th position missing the European spot with just a point.

READ ALSO: Tiki Taka: The Evolution Of Soccer’s Philosophical Tactics

Atletico Sojourn

Antic fantastic success began when he joined Rojiblancos, having transformed the fortune of Real Oviedo which led to offers from some of the biggest club in Spain.

He opted to join Atletico Madrid having been in the final stages of negotiation with Valencia, joining Atletico Madrid Antic took over a talented team with Kiko Narvaez, Diego Simeone, and Luis Caminero.

The Rojiblancos reputation of underachiever is one unpalatable reputation that they are synonymous with in Spain. Meanwhile, in the season prior to when Radomir Antic joined them, the club finished the season one point above the relegation zone.

One thing he like doing is working with his former players, Antic did Identified Viktor Onopko whom he coached at Real Oviedo. The deal couldn’t be pulled through and he went for a relatively unknown Milinko Pantic from Panionios who went on to proved himself as one of the finest players in Antic’s team.

All of the players Antic brought in gelled together masterfully and went on to a historic La Liga and Copa Del Rey triumph in the 1995-96 season, winning the double for Rojiblancos increased the love they had for him and more importantly their controversial President Jesus Gil.

Radomir Antic: The Unique Servant Of The Game Who Manage Barca, Atletico & Madrid

Radomir Antic: The Unique Servant Of The Game Who Managed Barca, Atletico & Madrid

Atletico Madrid coach Radomir Antic shows the Spanish League trophy as Atletico Madrid owner Jesus Gil holds up the Spanish Cup

Antic’s impressive achievement for Atletico Madrid made Gil to keep him at the helm for two more seasons and three seasons in total. During that period he took the Rojiblancos to the Champions League with an upgraded team but unfortunately lost to Ajax in the quarterfinal in extra time.

However Antic and Gil didn’t give up on the lucrative UEFA Champions League, the President spent heavily to bring in Christian Vieri who was still fresh from winning the Seria A with Juventus and Juninho from Middlesbrough.

READ ALSO: 10 Unforgettable Football Moments Of The Decade (2010 – 2019)

However both players struggled to deliver, Vieri still managed to produce an impressive performance when fit to play with 24 goals in 24 league appearances, but then his scoring form couldn’t save Antic’s ass en route to their semi-final lost to Lazio in the 1997-98 UEFA Cup which led to his dismissal.

Radomir Antic: The Unique Servant Of The Game Who Managed Barca, Atletico & Madrid

One crucial thing that made him unique is the fact that he was one of the only two men to have managed both Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

He won the double win Rojiblancos, though his success with Real and Barcelona wasn’t as mouthwatering as that of Atletico Madrid, yet he’s one unique servant of the game who made his presence felt with the Rojiblancos faithful.

Tributes

Real Madrid also paid tribute to its former manager, saying it was “deeply saddened” by the news.

Real Madrid C.F, its president and board of directors are deeply saddened by the passing of Radomir Antić, who served as Real Madrid coach between March 1991 and January 1992. Real Madrid wishes to express its sincerest condolences to his family and friends. These condolences also go out to the whole Madridista family and the clubs he represented throughout his sporting career as both a player and coach.

In 2003, Antic helped stabilize Barcelona during a difficult patch and the Catalan club also sent its condolences.

 

Image credits: Reuters, Tribuna, The Sun

 

 

 

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10 Legendary Jersey Sponsors In Football History

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10 Legendary Jersey Sponsors In Football History

The upsurge of Jersey sponsors during the ’80s and 90s is an explicatory key to the evolution of modern football.

Football history will always give credits to an Uruguayan club team (Penarol), for introducing the concept of jersey sponsorship during the ’50s. However, most European Leagues vehemently opposed the concept of placing a sponsor’s logo on football jerseys and prohibited teams from the ideas other than the team name on their jersey until the late ’70s.

Eintracht Braunschweig and Jagermeister, a foremost German liqueur company unlocked the pathway for jersey’s sponsorship. Guenter Mast, the CEO offered a significant amount of sponsorship deal for 5 years to put Jägermeister’s logo on Eintracht Braunschweig’s jersey.

After the deal was penned, the club requested approval from the German Football Association (DFB) to put Jägermeister’s logo on its jersey. Unfortunately, DFB opposed the concept and only allowed the club’s logo on the jersey.

However, the club (Eintracht Braunschweig) was swept off by the lucrative deal and didn’t want to miss the golden opportunity. Braunschweig changed its official logo to that of Jägermeister, the German federation was shocked but didn’t have the power to overturn such mischief since it’s now the club’s official logo.

Months later, DFB finally approved the sponsor’s logo on the jersey and that pave way for others to see the financial benefits that come along.

But as things changed gradually with the revamped of the Champions League, football clubs began to see how attracting and mouthwatering a shirt sponsorship deal could be for their club in bringing to fore financial profit and enlarging the coast of both parties financially and in term of popularity.

Modern football clubs has undoubtedly been emblazoned by mostly betting firm as their principal sponsors, while before it’s was about beverages firm, airlines, and automobiles companies. It’s all about the money, who cares if it’s unethical or not.

Let’s revisit some of the legendary jersey sponsors in the history of football

 

  • Manchester United – (SHARP, 1982-2000)

10 Legendary Jersey Sponsors In Football History

Manchester United is no doubt the biggest club in England, and when it comes to commercialization you would always find the Red Devils at the forefront.

Since the high-profile sponsorship deal between the Red Devils and Sharp ended 20 years ago, a lot of water has gone under the bridge. With the era of Vodafone for the 2000-01 season after the Sharp’s long association with the Red Devils came to an end.

Then after the era of Vodafone, then came AIG, AON, and now Chevrolet, though the Red Devils have just sealed a new deal worth £235million after both parties agreed on a huge five-year deal with TeamViewer.

Having mentioned all of the shirt sponsorship the Red Devils had in time past, it’s no doubt that the electronic company Sharp was the club’s longest and legendary serving shirt sponsor.

With lots of unprecedented success stories to have nostalgic feelings about, throughout their partnership under Sir Alex Ferguson and till date no sponsorship deal has ever covered such a glorious era for the Old Trafford side.

  • Inter Milan – (PIRELLI, 1995-Present)

10 Legendary Jersey Sponsors In Football History

Pirelli and the Nerazzurri have no doubt been an inseparable duo since 1995, a sponsorship deal that has spanned over 26 years in the world of football. The Italian tyre manufacturer has been a loyal partner with Internazionale over the years, and it has become a synonymous entity with the Nerazzurri.

As beautiful as both party’s partnership has been working smoothly for two decades and a half, it’s quite unfortunate that the deal value at around £10million per season would come to a conclusion at the end of the 2020-21 season. During the good years, both have enjoyed a very smooth partnership with countless successes such as the Seria A’s Cup titles, and the Champions League.

The Italian Tyre manufacturer isn’t just marked out on this list because of its longevity, it was marked out simply because of its legendary status with Inter and the football world entirely. Pirelli was also legendary because of its aesthetic on the Inter Milan Jersey and the admiration it brings to the fore when fans order for it.

What further marked out Pirelli is the fact that the black and blue shirt stripes with the Pirelli logo boldly printed on it have been donned by legendary football superstars such as O Fenomeno, Ivan Zamorano, Taribo West, Javier Zanetti, Recoba, Ronaldo De Lima, and many more.

Pirelli is no doubt one of the iconic shirt sponsorship in the history of the beautiful game of football.

READ ALSO: The Classy Secret Behind John Terry’s Jersey Number 26

  • Napoli – (Mars, 1988-1991)

10 Legendary Jersey Sponsors In Football History

Maradona and the entire Napoli team were no doubt the darling of the Partenopei fans in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The great Maradona took the Partenopei club by the scruff of the neck and dragged them to challenging on the homefront which ended with a positive result by winning the Scudetto, and European football became a norm for the fan base of Napoli.

During that period that Napoli was punching above their weight, it’s was the chocolate bar company “Mars” that was boldly printed on the shirt of the Naples side, with the legendary Diego Armando Maradona leading them to every war donning the shirt with the famous number 10 boldly written behind Jersey.

What really marked Mars out and made it one of the legendary jerseys sponsors in Italy then was that it’s the go-to shirt choice for every young football enthusiast across the country. More so it’s was during that period Maradona’s legendary status with the Partenopei took center stage when he singlehandedly won the UEFA Cup and the Scudetto for them.

Sadly for Mars, Maradona’s dominant spell in Italy didn’t last forever which also brought an end to Mars as Napoli’s principal shirt sponsor in 1991.

  • Bayern Munich – (OPEL, 1980-2002)

10 Legendary Jersey Sponsors In Football History

The Bavarian giant and the car company OPEL partnership came to an end when OPEL cited a new advertising direction. During the principal sponsorship of the Bavarian giant shirt, OPEL was one of the most recognizable shirt sponsors plastered on the team shirt of the most successful club in Germany at the time.

In 2002 Die Roten decided to redesign their shirt, while their main sponsor OPEL also decided not to renew its $13.5million a year contract with Bayern Munich has been in partnership with Die Roten since the late 1980s.

OPEL stepped down when Bayern Munich found another new sponsor in 2002, though both parties ain’t on the same page anymore.

However, their time together produced quite an unprecedented success with the club’s great donning the jersey plastered with OPEL in its front.

  • Real Madrid – (Teka, 1992-2001)

10 Legendary Jersey Sponsors In Football History

Los Blanco’s first shirt sponsor was Zanussi, who agreed for the 1982-83, 1983-84, and 1984-85 seasons. Following those seasons of been the principal sponsors, the club was also sponsored by Parmalat, and Otaysa before the long-term deal was signed with Teka in 1992.

In 2001, Los Blancos ended their contract with Teka to signed a new contract with Siemens Mobile in 2002, then with other shirt sponsors which followed since then. However, the era of Teka with Los Blancos did come with lots of nostalgic moments for many Real Madrid faithful that could still relate with that time.

Real Madrid may be enjoying a bigger deal with their current shirt sponsor in Fly Emirates in terms of the financial profit, however, the Teka shirt sponsorship era was no doubt an iconic time for Los Blancos so making this list wasn’t a mistake.

  • Parma – (Parmalat, 1998-2000)

10 Legendary Jersey Sponsors In Football History

Parma and Parmalat are undoubtedly the best sponsorship deal that ever happened to one of the best Italian sides in the ’90s. Great players such as Gianfranco Zola, Hernan Crespo, Gigi Buffon, Sebastian Veron, Lilian Thuram, Cannavaro, all donned the jersey with Parmalat boldly printed on it.

Throughout the 1980s and 90’s the horizon of Parmalat exploded onto the scene, spreading its wings all over the globe. Parmalat went on to become one of the jewels of the Italian commerce industry, and a model for other companies to emulate.

AC Parma and Parmalat era can be said to be one of football legendary jersey partnership because of the self-respect Italians had for them. In 1991 the Tanzi family bought 98 percent share of Parma following the untimely death of then-President Ernesto Ceresini, with one of the Ceresini’s sons holding on to the remaining stake.

During that era, Parma was by no means one of the best sides in Italian football, spent most of their time playing in the Seria C and B. With the arrival of Parmalat owned by the Tanzi family, Parma was bankrolled and they went on to achieved mouthwatering successes together with lots of great players.

  • Liverpool – (Carlsberg, 1992-2010)

10 Legendary Jersey Sponsors In Football History

Danish beer company Carlsberg is probably the best shirt sponsor in the Kop’s history, with the kind of aesthetic feels it comes with when Liverpool’s players don it.

No doubt Carlsberg may have come with plenty of years of mediocrity success wise with the Anfield side, however, one beautiful night that would forever linger in the memories of all Liverpool’s faithful was the miracle of Istanbul in the Champions League, which definitely make Carlsberg one of the iconic shirt sponsorship in football.

During the period in which the partnership of Liverpool and Carlsberg was still existing, the Danish beer company never relent in bringing the relationship of both parties to life through global and local activations and events with their fans across the globe.

Before their iconic partnership came to an end in 2010, Carlsberg’s partnership with the Kop produced a lot of on-field success winning the Champions League in 2005. Two FA Cup’s, four League Cups, and one UEFA Cup in 2001 with great players such as Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, and Steven Gerrard donning the legendary shirt.

  • AC Milan – (OPEL, 1994-2006)

10 Legendary Jersey Sponsors In Football History

The German automobile manufacturer didn’t only enjoy stints sponsoring Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain in the ’90s, their time with the Italian giant was no doubt a period of great dominance of Italian football with a bunch of talented players donning the shirt.

During the 12 year partnership with the German company, the Rossoneri claimed four Scudetto, one Coppa Italia, and two Champions League titles.

Every football enthusiast who saw Milan played then would agree to the fact that those period were no means a time of dominance for the Rossoneri, with fantastic players such as Andriy Shevchenko, Maldini, Nesta, Seedorf, Kaka, and co that tore the Seria A apart with their swashbuckling football style.

It’s funny how Liverpool’s greatest Champions League night came in Carlsberg-clad jersey, then AC Milan’s lowest recede fell on that same night in Istanbul. The most feared collection of superstars in football shed tears into an Opel embroiled jersey, wondering whether the beer effect (Carlsberg) had a toll on them.

Even though Milan and OPEL have gone their separate ways, many football enthusiasts and Milan faithful still can’t forget those dominant eras under Carlo Ancelotti.

READ ALSO: 10 Of The Worst Football Kits Of 2020/21

  • PSV Eindhoven – (Phillips, 1981-2016)

10 Legendary Jersey Sponsors In Football History

Phillips and PSV Eindhoven partnership is undoubtedly one of the unforgettable iconic partnerships in football. The electronic company stops sponsoring the shirt of PSV Eindhoven in 2016 after 30 years of magnificent partnership with a report saying Phillips wants to focus more on medical equipment than consumer electronics.

Although Phillips is still committed to the club as an important club partner of the Dutch side, though not as shirt sponsor but as stadium and other important secondary sponsorship deal with the club.

Been a real football enthusiast who saw the Dutch side in the ’80s and 90s what comes to mind is PSV’s colors that were awesomely complimented by the Philips logo for such a long time, that almost everyone assumed it was part of the jersey itself.

And not forgetting the glorious heydey of the club that played a host of great players such as Philip Cocu, Luc Nilis, R9, and Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

No doubt PSV Eindhoven’s partnership with Phillips definitely brought huge success and recognition to both parties, and also grow on the world stage flexing muscles with some of the biggest clubs/sponsorship rivals in Europe on the biggest of the stage.

  • Boca Juniors – (Quilmes, 1995-2001)

10 Legendary Jersey Sponsors In Football History

The Argentine brewery company was founded in 1988 by the German immigrant Otto Bemberg, both parties came into partnership in 1995 to make sure the biggest club in Argentina had an on-field dominance in Argentine football.

The Quilmes partnership started immediately Nike became La Bombonera side kit sponsor, leading to a wave of fresh kits for the South American most respected club.

The reason why Quilmes makes it into our top list was that during their partnership with Boca Juniors the club enjoyed an on-field successful period. The scribbled font used in printing the name on the shirt goes perfectly well with the famous blue and yellow jersey.

Throughout the partnership of Quilmes and Boca, the shirt was donned by great players like the great Maradona, Juan Roman Riquelme, Carlos Tevez, and co who made the Bombonera side proud.

 

Notable Mention

  • Fiorentina & (Nintendo, 1997-1999)
  • Newcastle & (Newcastle Brown Ale, 1994-2000)
  • Borussia Dortmund & (Die Continentale, 1986-1999)
  • Juventus & (Jeep, Since 2012)

 

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Fall From Grace: Bolton Wanderer’s Steep Decline

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Fall From Grace: Bolton Wanderer's Steep Decline

Bolton Wanderer’s under Sam Allardyce was high-flying, competing in Europe, and were a Premier League mainstay; attractive football wasn’t the trotter’s niche but the team became renowned as a side that was hard to beat.

From that, it turned into dreadful mismanagement and financial nightmare that followed with a lot of questions been asked about their decline.

The Wanderers weren’t exactly a club with a swell bank-account when Sam Allardyce took them to the pinnacle of English football via the playoff triumph against Preston North End in 2001. As great as that sounds, muddling thinking, poor signings, and extravagant wages to players brought them into the unpleasant situation they’ve found themselves.

However, during those rosy and sweet periods, Allardyce was able to cast his net into the transfer pool to bring onboard Fernando Hierro, Ivan Campo, World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff, former Nigeria midfield maestro Okocha, amongst other top players that ran top teams in England and Europe ragged with their direct style of football.

Fall From Grace: Bolton Wanderer's Steep Decline

Unfashionable Bolton succeeded in attracting flair players such as Jay-Jay Okocha

Bolton’s Journey

Since the 1987-88 season, the club’s single-season in the fourth tier, the trotter has never slipped lower than 16th on the table, before they secured instant promotion back to Division Three. When Bolton Wanderers went down as low as playing in the lower division it comes as a huge surprise to many of their fans.

Bolton in 2008 was officially one of the best 50 teams in Europe, after two seasons in the UEFA competitions reaching the last 32 surprisingly in 2005, then the last 16 two years later.

They were ranked 47th in the world according to UEFA’s ranking, while Atletico Madrid one of the finest teams in Europe right now were ranked 67th, Borussia Dortmund 109th, and PSG 66th in the world.

13 years ago, they stunned a Bayern Munich side that housed superstars such Miroslav Klose, Franck Ribery & Lucas Podolski by holding the Bavarian to a 2-2 draw in the UEFA Cup at the Allianz Arena.

Today, with Bolton Wanderers now playing in League Two, a once dreaded team is not close to being what they used to be under Sam Allardyce when they locked horns with some of the best teams in England and Europe.

With their football season now in League Two, their sweet cinderella stories of old when they walked in between the tunnel sharing the same pitch with Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich, to now playing teams like Barrow is a testament to how severe Bolton’s decline has nosedived due to financial mismanagement.

Fall From Grace: Bolton Wanderer's Steep Decline

The 2-2 UEFA Cup draw in Munich 13 years ago was one of Bolton’s most memorable results

Between 2003-04 and 2006-07, Bolton enjoyed a consecutive top-flight finish, a record of consistency only the big four of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool could boost off.

That said, Bolton looming troubles started when long-serving manager Allardyce departed, stating that he’s going on sabbatical leave.

Surprisingly, shortly after departing Bolton, he was employed as Newcastle’s manager, when asked about dumping Bolton for the Tyneside club he cited a lack of ambition on the part of the Bolton’s board for his departure.

Having sought financial backing in 2007 to make the team more competitive and also push the club towards Champions League qualifications which they failed to bankroll.

The trend of teams who at some point once enjoyed a glorious moment in the topflight, that are now in the lower division won’t be the first and also won’t be the last. Deportivo La Corona once a Spanish Champions touched the whole of Europe with their swashbuckling style before they went down in a way similar to Bolton, same with Portsmouth one time FA Cup winner, and other teams who had gone downward spiral.

On the final day of the 2011-12 season, Bolton’s ordeal began properly, first with the relegation that left many predicted torrid situations ahead of them in the lower division. As predicted, Bolton couldn’t pull the chestnut out of the fire as swift as they would have loved to and they further ran into more problems.

As life in the Championship gets tougher, the Wanderer’s long-standing owner Eddie Davies invested over £180m to rescue the team, but by late 2015 it’s was evident their troubles just started with the club debt closing up to £179.9m while in the bottom of the league.

Bolton’s former striker Dean Holdsworth and his Sports Shield Company came to the club rescue, with a complete makeover in March, backed by a £4m high-interest loan, having been petitioned by HMRC for their unpaid taxes worth £600,000.

The Trotters got relegated to the League One, but somehow surprisingly claw their way back despite their transfer embargo under Phil Parkinson. When life with Bolton seems looking somewhat fair, Ken Anderson the new Chairman who later became the fan’s enemy, bought the club from Holdsworth.

Following Anderson’s takeover, the 2018-19 season turned into yet another nightmare for the Trotters as they went back to League One. On the back of their time in the lower division, they were served with yet another petition.

Fall From Grace: Bolton Wanderer's Steep Decline

But after a thoroughly miserable 2019-20 season, Bolton have been relegated to League Two

READ ALSO: Grace To Grass: Deportivo La Coruna Unpalatable Decline

In the process of the search for another new owner due to Anderson’s roughness, Bolton’s players went on strike due to unpaid wages ahead of their clash with Brentford.

As the side from Burnden way further experience an unpleasant time in the lower division their training ground was closed due to lack of electricity.

As Bolton’s situation got worse day by day, the fans were left with nothing other than to clamored for ‘Anderson Out,’ with the fan’s banners displaying the frustrations.

Fall From Grace: Bolton Wanderer's Steep Decline

Anderson became a hate figure among Bolton fans as they dropped down into League One

It’s got worse in their clash against West Brom when the match was interrupted due to the tennis ball thrown into the pitch. They slipped into administration for yet another unpaid tax that cumulated into £1.2m, which got them faced with 12 point penalty to begin a new life in the third tier with their players been owed for 20 weeks.

In their first match of the season in the third tier, Bolton could only boast of three outfield players plus their youth team to execute their matches, which ended up in disgraceful results against their opponents. During those periods, Bolton got a new owner despite the opposition from the despised Anderson.

Apparently, with unimpressive performances week in week out, the club’s supporters slumped further, it was evident that the Trotters faithful ain’t happy with the way the team is heading.

With the situation at hand, the new owner knew they’ve got a lot of work to do in their quest to revive the club and also bring back the fans.

Bolton now in League Two, apparently doing relatively well with the caliber of players they’ve got in the team, with new owner ‘Football Ventures White Ltd’, Chairman Sharon Brittan, and relatively a decent manager for their level in Ian Evatt, they’re painstakingly ticking all boxes to return to big stage once again.

For now bringing back the fans might be a bit difficult, not even with the Covid-19 pandemic still very much around.

Change is constant, they only need to keep up the fight, and rebuild. Hopefully, the years of the painful decline that was simply unimaginable can finally come to an end.

 

 

 

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