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May 16, 2012

Bolton chief aims to slash wage bill

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside is planning to halve the club's wage bill this summer after watching them suffer relegation from the Premier League on the final day of the season.

The Trotters drew at Stoke to condemn them to second-tier football for the first time in 11 years and Gartside believes that the club's future rests on academy graduates, insisting that some big names will need to be shipped out in order to keep the books balanced.

"If you look at our wage bill this year compared to what it was last year, allowing for a couple of people to come in, it will be up to 50% of what we paid out last year,'' Gartside told BBC Radio Manchester.

"That flexibility is essential when you are going to lose £25 million of revenue. You've got to dust yourself off and get on with life. It's not the end of the world - we've got a plan and we'll implement that plan. This was always going to be a year when we restructured the club.

"Owen put a plan together 18 months ago that he wanted to reduce the age of the squad because he felt there were some older players in the squad that were going to come to the end of what were great careers, and he wanted to put something in place that was sustainable.

"We've had an academy for over 10 years and we never produced a boy from the local area from the age of seven that came through to the first team, and that has changed this year.

"We have got two boys who have made their debuts in Joe Riley and Josh Vela, both exciting players capable of playing first-team football, and we have got five or six other boys in the academy who are just as good, who are on the fringe of breaking in. That is a great achievement.''

Bolton have ten players out of contract this summer: Kevin Davies, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Zat Knight, Paul Robinson, Gretar Steinsson, Ivan Klasnic, Robbie Blake, Martin Petrov, Sean Davis and Ricardo Gardner are all at risk of being forced out of the Reebok Stadium.

Nigel Reo-Coker has already stated his intention to leave the Trotters, as the midfielder has a clause in his contract that he could depart if the club was relegated from the Premier League.

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