WANDERERS have launched an internal investigation after photos of captain Jay Spearing on holiday in Ibiza emerged on social networking sites on Monday night.
The recently-appointed club captain was pictured revelling at a party in the luxurious Ocean Beach resort just 24 hours after the 1-0 defeat to Leeds United, which left the club three points adrift in the Championship relegation zone.
Players had been given two days off by the club but the fact Spearing was snapped on a sunshine getaway angered fans, who registered their discontent to The Bolton News.
“One point in 15 and our captain is living it up in Ibiza,” wrote Wanderers fan Daniel West.
“It’s another damaging blow for supporters’ morale,” added Lee Chadwick.
The controversy comes just a few days after Jermaine Beckford came in for heavy criticism for saluting fans of his former club Leeds during Saturday’s game.
Spearing returned to training on Tuesday morning with the rest of the squad and the matter has been brought to the attention of manager Dougie Freedman, who was assisting Scotland Under-19s last night in their friendly against the Czech Republic.
But Luke Raftery, who appears alongside him in the picture, posted a message on The Bolton News’ website in support of the 25-year-old Liverpudlian.
“This photo is of myself and Jay and has been taken off my Instagram. Jay was simply having a good time and enjoying a break from his work, he is only human,” he wrote.
“He was really friendly and carried himself as professional as you would expect.
“Needless to say the photo does not do him any favours but he was not as drunk as he appears in the picture.
“Everyone is entitled to a good party every once in a while. Cut the bloke some slack.”
Many readers of The Bolton News have also backed Spearing’s right to enjoy a break – with 59 per cent voting in an online poll that there had been an over-reaction towards the incident as of 5.15pm today.
It is understood Wanderers have spoken with the skipper about the situation but the club are yet to make official comment.