Former Bolton defender Lawrie Wilson ‘admires’ players for striking over unpaid wages


Former Bolton defender Lawrie Wilson ‘admires’ players for striking over unpaid wages

Former Bolton defender Lawrie Wilson ‘admires’ the club’s players for going on strike.

Whites stars refused to report for training on Tuesday and Wednesday in support of non-playing staff who were not paid their salaries for March.

Lawrie Wilson played for Bolton between 2015 and 2017

The first-team, who are still waiting to receive last month’s wages, returned to training on Thursday when staff were finally paid.

It is the second month in a row players have not been paid on time and Wilson, who won promotion to the Championship with Bolton in 2017, feels sorry for his old team-mates.

The 31-year-old told talkSPORT: “Fighting relegation is hard enough, but then to be coming into work each day not getting paid and you never know, some people might not be able to afford to get into work.

“You don’t know how people live outside of football and what they spend their money on.

“Even though you might look at it and say ‘they earn thousands and thousands of pounds’, we don’t know how they live outside of football.

“So they might actually be struggling to get into training. With Bolton, it’s an admirable thing to do for the non-playing staff, it just shows how tight-knit the group is.

A large section of Bolton fans have turned against owner Ken Anderson

“For them to do that for the staff, the chefs, the secretaries, everyone around them… it’s not just about the players not being paid.

“That’s quite an admirable thing to put themselves in that situation.

“They’ve come out of it quite well because the non-playing staff have been paid.”

To add to the current off-field problems at Bolton, who are six points from Championship safety and waiting for a takeover to go through, they are facing a winding-up petition over debts of £1.2million.

On Wednesday, the hearing was adjourned until May 8.

Being paid late is a feeling Wilson knows all too well.

Lawrie Wilson has had spells in the Football League with Charlton, Port Vale, Stevenage, Peterborough and Rotherham

Since signing for non-league club Ebbsfleet in January 2018, Wilson reckons players have only been paid on time TWICE.

The ex-Charlton and Stevenage ace said: “It’s so hard for players to get up and go to work without being paid.

“Those Saturday and Tuesday games are key when those fans turn up, they’re the ones who keep you going because that’s what you live for.

“As a footballer you live for playing on the weekend in front of thousands and thousands of people, and these people keep turning up and supporting the players, even though they know what they’re going through.

“Whatever stance the Bolton players chose to take in the week, it shows they have the support and backing from the fans, which is superb.”

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Wilson and his Ebbsfleet team-mates refused to warm-up before their game against Wrexham last weekend after club owner Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi threatened to stop paying their wages.

But the dispute was settled and the National League side secured a 4-2 win over their promotion rivals.

March wages, which were meant to be paid on the 25th, only went through on Wednesday.

Wilson added: “It’s a huge lift. In non-league, some people outside of football may have other interests and avenues where they can make money.

“But some people will need to go out and they haven’t earned the money that other players have by playing in the Football League and they’re in a completely different situation.

“So you have to take all of that into consideration when going through the squad and how people react to it.