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Heat turns up on Neil Lennon as Bolton stare at drop amid financial problems

Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Brentford

By Liam Blackburn

Published 01/12/2015

Under pressure: Neil Lennon, pictured last night, watches his side earn a draw
Under pressure: Neil Lennon, pictured last night, watches his side earn a draw

Neil Lennon's Bolton Wanderers crisis deepened last night as his bottom-of-the-table side's winless run extended to a dozen games, rounding off a month in which they are yet to pay their players for with a 1-1 draw against Brentford.

Less than five hours before kick-off, the Ulsterman's cash-strapped Wanderers - they are £172.9m in debt - announced their squad had not received their wages for November as the club desperately seek new investment.

Questions will be asked regarding the future of the former Celtic supremo as Bolton's financial woes deepen and the danger of falling into League One heightens.

The former Northern Ireland international admitted recently: "What might happen is that investors might want to make a change, I have to be realistic about that. Results haven't been good and the buck stops with the manager."

Many Celtic fans would love to see the Lurgan man, who has two years remaining on his Bolton contract, back at Parkhead.

Wanderers have only won one of their 18 league games so far this season and there's no question that a change of scenery would be appealing to Lennon at this moment.

Lennon said: "We know we lack a little bit of quality in certain areas to go a goal down, the reaction was excellent.

"Ben Amos has shown his quality, we're very pleased with him and he will improve as he's a young goalkeeper."

On the squad not being paid, the former Leicester City boss added: "We spoke to the squad about the situation and there will be a meeting tomorrow with Trevor Birch and a representative from the PFA.

"Hopefully that will clarify the situation for the players. We're pretty confident money will come in and they will get paid."

Wanderers recently appointed Trevor Birch as an advisor to the board in order to ease a takeover from current owner Eddie Davies.

A consortium led by ex-Wanderers striker Dean Holdsworth is understood to be interested in buying the club and Davies is prepared to write off the debts in loans owed to him as part of any takeover.

A club statement read: "Bolton Wanderers Football Club can confirm that the first-team playing squad are yet to receive their wages for the month of November. This is due to the ongoing situation surrounding the club's ownership off the field."

Birch added: "This is due to a short-term funding issue. We are working hard behind the scenes and hope to have this resolved in a quick and timely manner and I will be meeting the players tomorrow to update them."

And it looked like being a thoroughly miserable Monday all round when John Swift scored the opening goal for the Bees, who announced Dean Smith as their new manager earlier in the day.

Neil Danns' second-half leveller at least spared them a home loss, yet Lennon's side remain in a perilous position both on the field - where they are four points adrift of safety - and off the field, where Davies stands to lose £172.9m in any sale.

Lennon's men displayed spirit throughout despite news of their financial situation, yet there was a sign of tension in the ranks when television replays appeared to show substitute Gary Madine verbally insulting his manager after smashing a shot way off the mark.

The Bees took an early lead when John Swift curled in from 20 yards but the hosts earned a point when Danns' shot bounced in off the post.

Belfast Telegraph

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