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Men's Football Community Trust sets up emergency foodbank for unpaid Bolton staff

AN emergency foodbank service has been set up by Bolton’s community trust for the club’s unpaid staff members.

The club entered administration on Monday after former Watford owner Laurence Bassini’s takeover fell through.

Local businesses and charities have kindly donated food and essential products to staff, who have gone without pay for the last two weeks.

Though there is hope that money will be released from the locked bank accounts in the near future, club chaplain and head of the community trust Phil Mason has said they have have no choice but to intervene.

“We have tried to offer whatever support we can to people and that has included trying to get some provisions in order that people can continue to live a normal life,” Mason told the Bolton News.

“When people talk about football they often associate it with big salaries and luxurious living, but the reality is that many of our staff — as we all do — live within their means. And that becomes very difficult when you have not been paid for a couple of weeks. It has hit home hard.

“Through the chaplaincy and the community trust we have been able to offer food provisions. This has been made possible because of the kindness of some local charities, businesses and people who have not done it for publicity, in fact they have asked to remain anonymous.

“The reality is that a lot of staff here live day to day, hand to mouth but the situation for some means it is impossible to manage.”

Bolton’s players have not been paid since February but were able to get some money via the Professional Footballers’ Association.

However, since former owner Ken Anderson stopped funding the club a few weeks ago, Mason added that it has been a “stressful time” for the rest of the staff and that the next owner needs to make an “investment” into those who are currently being ignored.

“It has been a stressful time for all of our staff. I wouldn’t wish to go into details for reasons of confidentiality but concern and anxiety has been rife,” Mason said.

“What I have been tremendously impressed with, however, is the resolve of the staff to come into work and to support each other through such testing times.

“I think that is something that needs to be admired and recognised by anyone coming into the club. The best investment they will make is the staff.”

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