If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Where fellow sufferers gather to share the pain, longing and unrequited transfer requests that make being a Wanderer what it is...

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If BWFC ceased to exist

Support another club (say who)
3
9%
Become a general football fan
4
12%
Wait for a new, spiritual successor club - a non-league start-up
13
39%
Take an active role in forming a spiritual successor
2
6%
Give up on football
9
27%
Other (specify)
2
6%
 
Total votes: 33

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If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by Branagan » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:02 am

If Bolton Wanderers were to finally buckle tomorrow and disappear from the face of English football completely, what would you do as a football fan? Pick an option from the poll and explain your decision - particularly if you think you might support another club.

A new, phoenix from the ashes, grass roots, BWFC successor I'd get right behind. It would probably mean decades if not lifetimes at the bottom of the football pyramid, but getting in at the start would feel special enough.

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by DJBlu » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:08 am

What's happening tomorrow that I'm not aware of?

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by Branagan » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:21 am

DJBlu wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:08 am
What's happening tomorrow that I'm not aware of?
Who the fork knows anymore!

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by BWFC_Insane » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:29 am

I honestly don't know. I certainly wouldn't support another club. I doubt I'd want involvement in a spiritual successor.

I suspect that I'd be between giving up entirely and watching a few games (of other teams) on the TV like I do now.

Its a depressing thought. But in recent times if I'm honest it has felt less and less like "my club". I'm trying to put my finger on when it happened and I can't exactly. But I think you can go back a long way to the seeds of this. To points when the argument was to spend more and more money chasing better and better players to finish a few places higher up the league to satiate a manager who was going to leave sooner or later anyway. When fans were demanding an owner who had already saved us and upped his stake and commitment financially to an already unprecedented degree spend more and more for some extra shot at short term success. I didn't realise at the time but that was when BWFC - the plucky and never say die club began to slip towards the perils of "modern football fanitis" IMHO.

Since then I think we've spent years trying to spend our way out of a hole and doing it badly. And as that came to a close our fans clamoured for a "sustainably run club". The reality of course was that isn't what they wanted - they wanted glory and success. But that doesn't come sustainably.

In more recent times we've had two seasons where I started to feel like we had a stab at getting back to where I felt we should be. The plucky, never say die underdog with loads of character - not the best team in the world - but "the best" team in the world. It wasn't exactly a thrill a minute ride but it was nail biting and engaging and ultimately successful in fairly dramatic fashion twice. Which to me is what it is all about. But even then our fans were not happy. The club was not happy. And even with far more modest targets achieved financially we were still dying.

And that is my major, major point of contention. If the dream is to spend your way to the top league, then spend and spend and spend to stay there in fear of what happens if you don't - then to me that dream is dead. I don't mind football being the way it is. I really don't. There is always a chance a rich Sheikh with more money than sense comes along and propels you to glory. Its not a high chance but then it was not a high chance previously that you'd strike the magic golden button of "that just right team and manager". So I don't mind it. What I do find really hard to deal with is the fact that if you aren't one of those few lucky teams at any one time then there is no patience anymore. No "we're in this together". Fans cannot seem to adjust expectations. They cannot look round and see that in reality 80% of clubs are just like you. So you hit the spiral of negativity that we've seen in recent years as bad owners chase financial dreams and fail, fans demand more is spent and players and agents get richer even as a club dies around them.

To me its not even the game that is flawed. It is our attitude and relationship with it that is completely out of line with reality and perspective.

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by Branagan » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:49 am

Really interesting take BWFCI. Feels like a lot of what you say is a symptom of modern day football, and I completely get what you're saying. Do you follow non-league at all? Might be closer to how it used to be.

For me, the feeling of alienation came with the journeymen. I do feel it has improved in some respects in the last couple of seasons ever so slightly but, when I was growing up, Bolton players felt like *our* players. Very few do now. I really wanted Holding, Vela and Clough to stay and improve together for that reason. 'Bolton' players that make the team sheet every week. I'd say Wheater is the closest we have now through sheer loyalty alone, and Connell has potential if given the chance, but struggle to care if any of the others stay or go.

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by BWFC_Insane » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:54 am

Branagan wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:49 am
Really interesting take BWFCI. Feels like a lot of what you say is a symptom of modern day football, and I completely get what you're saying. Do you follow non-league at all? Might be closer to how it used to be.

For me, the feeling of alienation came with the journeymen. I do feel it has improved in some respects in the last couple of seasons ever so slightly but, when I was growing up, Bolton players felt like *our* players. Very few do now. I really wanted Holding, Vela and Clough to stay and improve together for that reason. 'Bolton' players that make the team sheet every week. I'd say Wheater is the closest we have now through sheer loyalty alone, and Connell has potential if given the chance, but struggle to care if any of the others stay or go.
I'm not interested in non-league football. I get those who are and those who would rather be part of any community than none at all. But to me I'm a Bolton fan. I've supported them for as long as I can remember and will do for as long as they or I am here.

If I could go and watch Chorley and enjoy it then I might as well go and watch Man City or Liverpool and enjoy it...is how I'd see it. And I cannot.

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by Branagan » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:06 am

Yeah, fair enough. You can't just fake enthusiasm and hope it becomes genuine one day. If, for arguments sake, the spiritual successor was set up by some of the BWFC legends in the current back room - David Lee etc, would you be drawn to that?

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by Harry Genshaw » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:09 am

Some interesting points there Insane and much to agree with.

If I had to put my finger on when I was happiest watching us it was during Bruce Riochs reign. The club still felt local, the ground may have been falling down around us but there was still that dream you refer to of circumstances coming together to make everything go well.

I wouldn't have missed the Reebok, Todds 100 goal season, Sam's glory years for anything but the Rioch era had its own special magic for me.

Some of it could be down to age and nostalgia and I still celebrated Beevers equaliser at Norwich and Connollys winner at QPR as enthusiastically as Walkers at Anfield.

I suspect if it came to the worst I'd end up choosing my weekends between watching AFC Bolton, Daisy Hill or shopping. No way could I watch another professional outfit
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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:14 am

I voted for "general football fan".

About 20 years ago, in a post-match pub session, we had a long discussion on a similar (but then entirely hypothetical) line. I decided I'd want somebody local, with a bit of history but also not successful, and currently underachieving. So I "chose" Man City.

I'm glad I didn't really have to make that choice then and I'm fairly certain I wouldn't make a choice now. I couldn't just transfer my affections now to another established club. I wouldn't have the connection forged by miles and hours of travelling, years of underachievement leavened by peaks of transcendent joy. If I picked a successful club the joy would mean nothing. If I picked a bad one it would seem needlessly masochistic and hipsterish.

If AFC BWFC FC started in non-league I'd wish them all the best, would probably make the effort to go to an early game, but let's be honest: I live in London, I'm quite time-poor (and not comfortably cash-rich), and every game would be in the north-west - possibly, after a couple of promotions, the north generally.

I think there's a lot of truth in BWFCi's heartfelt post. I know a Bournemouth fan who says their forums are full of existential ennui; there's a huge debate on a Cherries website about whether Eddie Howe should go. I know a Palace fan who's happy for now to survive but is wondering what happens next. The top flight has never been so stratified. The second tier is a financial basket case. I still think there's scope for fun in the lower divisions, but even they are increasingly correlating between spend and position.

I might take in the odd local non-league game. I might watch the telly. But it'd never be anything like the same again.

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by BWFC_Insane » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:32 am

Harry Genshaw wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:09 am
Some interesting points there Insane and much to agree with.

If I had to put my finger on when I was happiest watching us it was during Bruce Riochs reign. The club still felt local, the ground may have been falling down around us but there was still that dream you refer to of circumstances coming together to make everything go well.

I wouldn't have missed the Reebok, Todds 100 goal season, Sam's glory years for anything but the Rioch era had its own special magic for me.

Some of it could be down to age and nostalgia and I still celebrated Beevers equaliser at Norwich and Connollys winner at QPR as enthusiastically as Walkers at Anfield.

I suspect if it came to the worst I'd end up choosing my weekends between watching AFC Bolton, Daisy Hill or shopping. No way could I watch another professional outfit
Rioch's time was magical - in the sense that everything came together after a period in the wilderness and we had the perfect marriage of club, manager, fans and players. Its hard to compare eras for me. Allardyce's time was really about dragging the club into the modern football era whilst upsetting the odds. It was special in the sense that for the first time in my lifetime BWFC were up there for a period, and on their day able to beat anyone and we were feared. I remember going to games expecting to win. A feeling that is not that common for me and for Bolton fans in general.

I don't think the magic of that game against Reading - can be recreated anymore. And that is something that really hurts when I think about it. BWFC rising from the ashes and dramatically sealing a return to the now heavily financed and glitzy top flight. It was a moment of pure joy and adulation. But part of my sadness is that whatever we do, however the club progresses - I don't think that will ever be topped as a singular feeling.

And in reality - the success that Sam brought - we're probably not seeing that or close to it again in my lifetime. And that also hurts. But it hurts more that the expectation of generations after us are totally different and the sense of perspective gone. I know kids who say they are BWFC and go to a lot of games but who essentially are Man Utd or City or Liverpool fans. They tolerate Bolton. But they don't understand why everyone just doesn't watch the "real stuff". Whilst of course in the 80s/90s there was no shortage of Everton/Liverpool/Man Utd shirts round the town I don't think that it was the same. Then there was still a loyalty, and still a love. But I cannot feel that anymore. People, many people, love the club. But its sense of real and genuine sustained community has gone.

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by Lost Leopard Spot » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:09 pm

Other (specification below)

I would start supporting Matlock Town - the nearest club to me, and start going to Derby County, the nearest league club to me.
I wouldn't "support" Derby County, I'd attend their home matches. I would 'support' Matlock, but it would be more akin to Queen Victoria and her black mourning dress: just a form of celebrating what would have passed and gone forever.
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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by TANGODANCER » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:14 pm

An old man's tale: (and believe me, one that hurts mightily to pen)

Why any real surprise at the prospect of the club folding? Will we be the only ones to do it? It's 2019. The world of football we ( some of us) knew is history book and happy memory stuff and has become the world of money totally. As many local kids run round in Barcelona and Real Madrid kits as do Man United and Liverpool ( hey, my neighbours are good examples) and they don't need to wait till Christmas to get them. How many do you see in the Superwhite colours of our beloved home town in comparison? The football world of steam and sulphur, Woodbine smoke and the smell of Magees ale and onions drifting over the Lever end and embankment of Burnden, is naught but a fond memory for many and, like the names in yellowed autograph book pages, history.

Sad to admit, very sad indeed, but we're small potatoes in the game and might never be anything else ever again. Time, business and greed have changed the game forever and walked over the small fry in the same way Supermarkets have eliminated most of the corner shops and small businesses that seem to come and go in one or two years. Debenhams is the latest victim of the great money grab and might soon join Woolworths, Prestons, Whitackers, Whiteheads, British Home Stores, ToysRus, Costa Coffee etc, etc, etc...in the goodbye Bolton queue. The mighty Bolton Wanderers of legend sold for a quid and nobody want to buy us because, like it or not, we're a debt waiting to happen. Any surprise then that folding as a football club is a viable option? Any real investors will count acreage, assets and housing potential not supporters.

The good new? Starting again as a small club and facing facts may be no bad option. Pikes Lane and Christchurch might yet live again in a world of reality. Ten years from now, where will it all be? If I'm lucky enough to still be around, and because there'll never be another club for me, I'll still say

COME ON YOU WHITES......! :oyea: :oyea: :oyea:

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by BWFC_Insane » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:43 pm

To pick up on something TD rightly points out - people in foreign shirts - this goes back to my view about perception. Kids now watch the best players in the world regularly. They are exposed to it constantly, often in highlights form - Messi goal clips etc....

So they want to support their local team but their perceptions of football are so out of whack that they cannot appreciate a dour 1-1 away draw at Birmingham for what it is. They have seen countless youtube highlights reels of the best in the world, played countless games of FIFA pulling off "skillz" and seen so many sky sports "super super super super super Sunday" trails that their minds expect something entirely divorced from the reality of football. You see that as DSB points out not just at Bolton - premiership fans even of top clubs see this a lot.

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by officer_dibble » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:58 pm

I think “giving up on football” and becoming a “general football fan” are one and the same really. I’d give up on the tribal aspect but I would want my nearest / team I see the most to do well. Would I really end up at Elland Road? I certainly wouldn’t be chewed coming over to watch a BOlton park team take on Bamber Bridge...but I’d want to watch football...

Isn’t it a shame that finishing 7th in the premier league is the complete upper echelons of what the majority of ‘proper’ football fans can hope to achieve.

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:15 pm

officer_dibble wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:58 pm
I think “giving up on football” and becoming a “general football fan” are one and the same really.
Wholeheartedly disagree. It’d be like being a film buff without being hobbled by a frankly ludicrous attachment to one director to the exclusion of all others.

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by Lost Leopard Spot » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:21 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:15 pm
officer_dibble wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:58 pm
I think “giving up on football” and becoming a “general football fan” are one and the same really.
Wholeheartedly disagree. It’d be like being a film buff without being hobbled by a frankly ludicrous attachment to one director to the exclusion of all others.
Don't the film directors take the part of managers.
George Lucas equating to the Special Mourhino, for example.
It'd be like being a film buff without being hobbled by a frankly ludicrous attachment to the Alien franchise, is a better analogy, surely???
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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by officer_dibble » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:32 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:15 pm
officer_dibble wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:58 pm
I think “giving up on football” and becoming a “general football fan” are one and the same really.
Wholeheartedly disagree. It’d be like being a film buff without being hobbled by a frankly ludicrous attachment to one director to the exclusion of all others.
Can you imagine getting the same buzz as a Bolton equaliser through any other means?

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by bristol_Wanderer3 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:22 pm

I would be devastated! Just among the people I have known, BWFC have been in my family since 1899, and probably before. My Grandfather supported the club since he was a small child until he was physically unable to go. He was on the embankment when the 1946 disaster occurred. For me BWFC is truly in the blood. There have been times since I have been in Bristol when I could not justify going to games, but I have made stupid efforts to get to games when I probably shouldn't have. Big Sam has a lot to answer for.

Taking an active role in forming a successor seems a possibility, as long it had strong links to the original, but I suspect it would be heartbreaking and nowhere near the same.

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:12 pm

officer_dibble wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:32 pm
Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:15 pm
officer_dibble wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:58 pm
I think “giving up on football” and becoming a “general football fan” are one and the same really.
Wholeheartedly disagree. It’d be like being a film buff without being hobbled by a frankly ludicrous attachment to one director to the exclusion of all others.
Can you imagine getting the same buzz as a Bolton equaliser through any other means?
Nope. But nor can I imagine being as upset if a film (or game) is shit. I'd just do something else.

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Re: If Bolton Wanderers imploded tomorrow...

Post by officer_dibble » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:00 pm

Exactly. It becomes vanilla. I’m in agreement for the record...triballness is mental, and I would enjoy a good game of football, it would still be my favourite sport and I’d still support England. But the buzz would be gone...

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