Sammy red carpet for Alan Green

Do you think Sammy Lee's team will please Alan Green? Post your verdict in the Comment box at the end of this report

Do you think Sammy Lee's team will please Alan Green? Post your verdict in the Comment box at the end of this report

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , deputy head of sport

SAMMY Lee is ready to roll out the red carpet for Alan Green.

The BBC's Radio Five Live man was banned from the Reebok two seasons ago after describing the brand of football Wanderers were playing under Sam Allardyce as "ugly".

And although the ban - imposed by the then manager and endorsed by chairman Phil Gartside - was later lifted, Green's name is still mud with many Bolton fans.

But Lee has issued a personal invitation to the Beeb's man, confident that he will be impressed by the style of football he aims to serve up.

"The door is open to anyone," said the Wanderers' boss, whose mission statement is littered with words such as "flair", "entertainment" and "adventurous".

"I know Alan Green very well; he does his job and he has his opinions. Football is all about opinions.

"I just hope that, if he doesn't have a good opinion of us now, he will have a different opinion after he's seen us a few times. So Alan, please come. The more people we have coming along here, the better for everybody."

In fact, the entire BBC is back onside with Wanderers after they were declared persona non grata last season following the broadcast of the Panorama "bungs" documentary.

Sam Allardyce imposed a personal ban, refusing to do interviews with any branch of the corporation and leading to first team coach, Ricky Sbragia appearing for post-match interviews on the flagship Match of the Day programme. The cameras still rolled and the radio stations, local and national, covered the games, but the co-operation the BBC previously enjoyed was drastically curtailed.

But Allardyce's departure appears to have wiped the slate clean. Lee conducts interviews with the BBC, Phil Gartside has featured on Radio Five Live and BBC Radio Manchester are to provide live match commentary for the club's official website.

Lee, meanwhile, is confident the new Reebok pitch will provide a playing surface that will complement his playing style.

Wanderers have spent around £1m on a pitch that is a blend of grass and artificial elements plus giant lighting rigs to extend the growing period.

The players' verdict is key, however, and they gave it the thumbs-up after the Espanyol friendly.

"The pitch is fantastic," Lee said. "For me to play the type of football I want to play, it's important to have a good playing surface and it's a testimony to the support I've been given by the football club that they have invested so heavily.

"It's the latest of its type and the artificial element intertwined with the natural elements should make sure we have a good playing surface throughout the season."

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