News emerged today that Middlesbrough’s game at Bolton Wanderers a week today is in doubt, when the Lancashire club were issued with a prohibition order today.
Basically, if they cannot prove they have the ability to host a full matchday operation, they will not be permitted to allow fans into the stadium.
The result could be a postponement or playing the game behind closed doors, as reported by BBC Sport.
Older Boro’ fans will have a lot of sympathy for their Bolton counterparts, as it was 33 years ago that their beloved club faced an eerily similar fate.
The gates at Boro’s old Ayresome Park ground were chained and padlocked closed, after a winding up order had been received, and the club were literally hours, if not minutes, away from going out of business completely.
Of course, what happened afterwards is well known, with Steve Gibson coming in and saving the club, while transforming their fortunes in the years that followed.
Indeed, if any Bolton fans need some inspiration and hope, they need only ask their fellow Teesside fans, because after the near miss of folding, they went on to complete the fairy-tale, by finishing second in the Third Division and clinch promotion to Division Two.
In fact, it didn’t end there, as they were promoted again, at the first attempt, and were playing top flight football merely two years after their lowest day as a club.
So Bolton fans can live in hope that the same fate awaits them, with talks of takeovers being mooted.
But before that, they need to get into a position to fulfil this season’s fixtures.
And for all the sympathy Boro’ fans can have, they need to be ruthless next week if the game goes ahead, with, or without, a crowd to see it.
Were you around during the bad summer of 1986, Boro fans? Does that summer give the problems of this season some perspective? Let us know your thoughts…
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