Soccer-Bolton players to boycott games over unpaid salaries

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Championship - Wigan Athletic v Bolton Wanderers - DW Stadium, Wigan, Britain - March 16, 2019 Bolton Wanderers Callum Connolly applauds fans after the match Action Images/Jason Cairnduff

(Reuters) - Bolton Wanderers players have decided to boycott their remaining Championship fixtures over unpaid wages at the second-tier English club, the BBC and other British media reported on Friday.

The squad went on strike this month and refused to report for training until players, coaches and the club's non-football staff were paid March's wages.

Bolton, 23rd in the Championship and already relegated, have two games left this season -- against Brentford on Saturday and at Nottingham Forest on the final day of the season. Both fixtures are now in doubt.

"The long-running financial crisis at our club has been well documented. As has the fact that we, the playing staff have yet to receive our March salaries," a players' statement read as quoted by BBC.

"We have endeavoured to continue our training and playing commitments during this extremely difficult time, with seemingly no resolution in sight.

"This situation is creating mounting mental, emotional and financial burdens for people through no fault of their own. These are unprecedented circumstances and are affecting every aspect of our lives, placing great strain on ourselves and our families.

"With deep regret we have decided not to fulfil our remaining fixtures unless we are paid. We understand that this will disappoint our fans and for this we sincerely apologise."

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), which gave Bolton a loan to cover players' salaries in December, supported the action.

"The players have shown great patience and loyalty towards the club all season, but today, they have reached a point where action is necessary," the PFA said in a statement.

"We will continue to support and represent the players and work towards a longer-term solution in the best interests of the players and Bolton Wanderers Football Club."

Bolton did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, Editing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond)

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