THIS is a sad time to be connected with Bolton Wanderers Football Club, and those responsible should hang their heads in shame.

For months the good name of our town team has been dragged through the mud but today we reached a new low.

Days after assurances were given that the sale of car parking land to the Emerson Group would provide some “breathing space” ahead of a second High Court hearing, staff were left dumbstruck with the news they could not be guaranteed a wage in January.

It says everything that the men in the boardroom did not relay this information themselves. Instead it was passed on via line managers – themselves beset with worry for the last few weeks as requests for clarification on a pay date were met with stony silence.

Through a wretched period in the club’s history the staff – many on little more than minimum wage – have continued to shift merchandise and tickets, maintain the stadium, man the phones, take photos and smile politely for the customers.

There are people still working at the Macron who did similar jobs at Burnden Park. They will remember a time when the club’s hierarchy treated them with respect. For those same people to be handled so badly right now beggars belief.

The people in charge at the club have said repeatedly through this whole sorry affair that the first people you must look after are your staff, even if you have to go without.

It should not have taken a fans’ campaign before Christmas persuade the club to pay their employees. But at least a month ago, they were prepared for the worst.

On Tuesday night I walked around the stadium to check out the progress of the Supporters’ Trust, who were handing out membership flyers with the help of Kevin Davies and John McGinlay. I was stopped by three different people to ask if they were being paid today.

Communication within the club leaves a lot to be desired. If circumstances had changed – whether it was regarding the sale of the car park or players – shouldn’t that have been conveyed?

Last week we were told Medo Kamara’s contract had been paid up. A sensible footballing decision, but was the money better used elsewhere?

The beating heart of Wanderers is being ripped out, and yet in two days’ time the club will ask everyone to report for duty for the home game against MK Dons and carry on as normal. A week later Wanderers host Leeds United in the FA Cup.

The timing of the announcement, hours after they had all done a night’s work for the Eastleigh game, was not good.

Staff yesterday turned their anger towards the boardroom and owner Eddie Davies, who many feel has washed his hands of the football club at the time it needed him most.

Hired hands such as Trevor Birch and Terry Robinson have also attracted some criticism – although at least the work they do is fairly visible.

The end of this takeover saga cannot come soon enough and it now seems too much damage has been done to Davies’s legacy.

With some better PR, much improved communication and openness this whole sorry mess might have been sorted a lot sooner and may never have reached a courtroom.

Instead, what is left is bitterness, resentment and the feeling that this whole process has dragged on a lot longer than it needed to.

One member of staff told me in tears how she worried about her mortgage payments next month after Christmas had already left her short on money.

In the next breath she said: “But we’ll get through it and pull together. We always do.”

Wanderers will rebuild because of attitudes like that. But you have to wonder if those in charge really deserve it?