THE hope on Friday night after Wanderers’ players had refused en-mass to play against St Mirren was that a point had been made, and that the club could move on quickly.

The whole squad reached the conclusion the only way they could make a statement to owner Ken Anderson about missing bonuses and, in one case, wages, was to down tools.

It was an unprecedented and drastic course of action – and one which was never going to be met with universal approval among supporters, not least the ones who had lost money travelling or buying tickets to the match.

It is also ambitious to believe the club will return to normality any time soon.

Anderson’s venomous reply on Saturday warned that “appropriate action” would be taken against those who instigated the strike. There was also a suggestion that players should recompense fans who had missed out on the trip.

Wanderers will also have to make financial amends to St Mirren, who have definitely been left out of pocket from this whole sorry affair.

As the squad returns to Lostock for training this morning, it is clear there is still plenty to sort.

The Professional Footballer’s Association are now involved and their input is likely to shape the players’ next step as they absorb the stinging retort from the chairman.

Phil Parkinson can ill-afford such distraction. His team defied the odds to survive last season but with just 27 days to go before the first game of the Championship campaign, he believes the squad is still eight players short.

One signing was close to completion on Friday, and a couple of others have progressed during the weekend. And that will come as good news for supporters who were worried the strike situation could put off potential new recruits.

But what damage has this whole affair done to the spine of the squad, carried through from last season? Team spirit was one of their biggest assets, so could this rift with Anderson affect much more than a summer friendly?

One of the main complaints from within the group of players is that there was no communication from the club at the end of June that bonus payments would not be paid.

When clarity was sought before the players travelled up to Scotland for a week-long training camp, players were instructed that the payments would be issued on Friday.

Anderson maintains the payments were ready and waiting before he was informed of the players’ decision to strike.

“The players gave me an ultimatum that unless these sums were received on Friday they would not take part in the game planned for Saturday against St Mirren,” said the club owner, adding that he would not be “blackmailed or threatened.”

The players claim they were only requesting the money due to them for securing the club another season in the Championship, a prize estimated at around £7m by Anderson himself a few months ago.

Anderson’s threat of further punishment does not give the impression there will be a swift conclusion to the misery for Bolton fans.

“It is very unfortunate that the players took the decision not to play today and the club will take the appropriate actions against those involved,” he said on Saturday.

The PFA are likely to be used as mediators, as they have at Wanderers in the past. Bolton old boy Gordon Taylor is said to be taking a personal interest in the problems at his former club.

All the while, manager Parkinson is caught in the middle of an incredible situation and must pick his way through six more friendlies and continue building a squad at least capable of repeating last year's survival effort.