AT 7pm tonight Bolton Wanderers Supporters will gather in front of the Nat Lofthouse statue to protest against the club’s owner and chairman, Ken Anderson.

The call to action has been made jointly by a number of online fans’ websites, blogs and forums who feel frustrated at the way the club is being run.

Organisers plan to march once around the stadium and congregate outside the main reception before taking their seats for the game against West Brom, which kicks-off at 8pm and will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Mr Anderson has made repeated calls for the protest to be cancelled and last week said they “certainly won’t make me rush into selling the club.”

What the club say

On Friday, Ken Anderson wrote on the official website: “The club is aware of planned action by some supporters ahead of the game. I really hope that common sense prevails and that these don’t take place as I certainly don’t think that they will be helpful for the club or the team as they prepare for the game.

"However, if they do, then I hope they are done as peacefully as possible and do not cause any disruption to the match itself as we certainly don’t want to face any punitive action by the football authorities.

“It appears that the protest is being led by a very small minority of people, which is often the case and has clearly been seen at a number of other clubs. I do have to wonder what their ultimate aim is? History has clearly shown at these other clubs that nothing has been achieved.”

Two days later, Mr Anderson added: “I sincerely hope the planned protests being driven by a small minority on social media, some fans’ forums and the local media do not take place as I believe they could be a distraction to the team and won’t help the cause.

“Hopefully, the small minority taking part will see the negativity this protest will bring to the club and decide there are better ways to achieve their aims and at this time it would be far more beneficial to send positive messages to the players and management and get behind the team.”

What happened with John McGinlay

John McGinlay, the former Scotland international striker who scored more than 100 goals for Wanderers, has been told his ‘privileges have been revoked’ which includes his ability to work for BBC Radio Manchester as a pundit at the game.

McGinlay had aired some critical views – both on Mr Anderson’s reign and the style of play employed by manager Phil Parkinson in a fans’ forum aired last Wednesday and was thought to be attending the planned march.

Wanderers say they felt it “inappropriate” that McGinlay be allowed to work at the game – a decision which has not proved popular with many supporters.

What some fans say

Directly addressing Mr Anderson’s most recent comments, statements have been made on several fans’ websites involved in the protest, including Trotters Blog.

In response to the chairman’s claim it would paint the club in a bad light, it read: “It doesn’t bring negative publicity to the club, it brings publicity to your reign Ken. It tells people that delayed wages and constant winding up orders are not okay. It tells people that players such as Christian Doidge, who has uprooted his family and bought properties up North, only to return to their parent club, that this is not okay.

“You can sit there and try to tell the likes of Charlton and Portsmouth fans that protesting is a negative, but I guarantee you that your pleas would fall on deaf ears.

“It isn’t to make you sell. We know that you will only sell once you receive a deal which you deem to be fair. Unfortunately, I and many others do not trust your judgement. This is not just our opinion, this is based on reporting which stretches back over two years with numerous articles detailing our club’s issues in a number of newspapers.

“It is time to shine a light on what is happening at Bolton with you in charge.

“McGinlay isn’t leading the protest. He is joining this to support the fans, but we have never stated he would be heading this charge. The fact is, no one is. We’re all for one, acting purely in the best interests of this club which is loved by many.

“Bringing negative publicity to the club is announcing you received a promotion bonus whilst wages are delayed. Negative publicity is sparring with other chairmen. Negative publicity is releasing statement after statement where you ban the local reporter and a club legend from home games. Our club is shrouded in negative publicity. It’s why the likes of the Guardian, the Times, the Bolton News, Football 365 and other media outlets are reporting on our troubles – which have intensified within the last weeks.

“If anything, these protests are a positive for the club. It shows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“The protest is going ahead Ken. Simple. It might not be a great turnout, who knows. But if we get the right exposure (we have been told Sky will video some of the protest) then we can really build on what we have started.

“We are not aiming to disrupt the players or the manager, we have made our stance very clear on a number of occasions.”

Advice from the club

Wanderers have issued strict advice to supporters with regard to the match itself and are keen to ensure the safety of all involved.

Stadium Manager, Rod Cross, said: “We believe that any action of this nature within the stadium bowl will not be beneficial to the players as they prepare for a very important match but we do understand that some supporters may wish to voice their opinions.

“Supporters are reminded that any breaches of the ground regulations, which are issued by the EFL and are standardised throughout the leagues, may lead to action being taken against the individuals concerned and also the club itself.

“This may result in court appearances and possible banning orders, and the club could also face wide ranging sanctions from the EFL/FA which may result in an unlimited fine, a points deduction and future games being played behind closed doors.

“Encroachment and the throwing of objects onto the field of play are criminal offences and will be meticulously monitored by our stewards, the police and extensive in-stadium CCTV.

“Any banners that are brought into the stadium must not contain any offensive messaging and must have a fire safety certificate.

“Additional searches will be made at the turnstiles by our stewards to ensure that steps are taken to prevent any disruption of play and to make sure that everybody attending can watch the game in a safe and friendly environment. We would request that you respect others and remain within the law.”