Aston Villa fans should avoid being too uncouth at the Macron Stadium this Friday, considering our club was hours away from dissolving and going through the current state of affairs that Bolton Wanderers are.
Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
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Two fellow founding members of the Footballing League meet on Friday at the Macron Stadium, as Play-off candidates Aston Villa travel north to face struggling Bolton Wanderers, in what is expected to be a comfortable affair for the visiting team.
It’s not going to be a comfortable affair for Aston Villa for any footballing reason, as The Trotters have a squad strong enough to compete within the Sky Bet Championship – but more so because the players aren’t fighting for the badge on their shirts.
This is because, again, the ownership at Bolton Wanderers have failed to live up to promises and the club, once more, finds itself haphazardly balancing on the edge of expulsion from the footballing leagues, or worse, extinction.
Their current owner hasn’t paid players and staff on numerous occasions in this calendar year, causing both playing staff and general staff to strike and more, all of which will have an effect on performances on the training ground, pitch and the overall atmosphere at the club, which in turn becomes poor results.
There’s a prospective new owner on the horizon for Bolton Wanderers, but even he is raising some eyebrows before he’s even landed. Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini is the man touted to take over, but the rich man has twice been declared bankrupt, and was banned from owning an EFL club in 2013 for three years due to ‘financial misconduct’.
The last time the sides met, Aston Villa ran out 2-0 victors at Villa Park in the autumn of 2018.
Losing to Aston Villa this Friday could see Bolton Wanderers all-but relegated back to League One after a hard-fought survival campaign last season, should Wigan win also.
It would be unfair for Aston Villa fans to mock Bolton fans for the situation they find themselves and their club in, and typically acrimonious considering that it very well could have been Aston Villa in a similar position, or not existing at all if it were not for Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.
There should be no chants of “going down” or anything of the sort, instead a show of solidarity for the long suffering fans of a club that also, really, should be in the Premier League or the upper echelons of the Sky Bet Championship.
This, and the mention of empty seats. It’s a fan favourite to sing “empty seats, my lord” and it’s highly likely that more Aston Villa fans will travel to the Macron Stadium than Bolton Wanderers fans will due to their situation. It’s a huge shame that they find themselves this way, and will be more of a shame if our fans rub our relative success in their faces.
For one day, this away day, be a fan of football rather than a fan of solely Aston Villa. Especially when, like Bolton, we were faced with a winding up order due to an unpaid tax bill only ten months ago.