IT seems sad 50 years after we celebrated a legendary victory at Wembley the only occasion on our minds this year will be the inevitable return to League One.

We have had tough times, financially and on the field, but through none of them did we suffer the downright despair and national embarrassment as now.

Those plucky fans who still attend away matches, purchase season tickets and follow minute-by-minute reports every Saturday, desperately hoping for a point or a win, are left with shattered dreams.

And, instead of looking forward to when Saturday comes, they know the highlight will be enjoying a chat or pint with their football mates and wondering just how much of the match they will be able to stick out.

I have always been one who would stick it out to the bitter end, but now I wonder what else I could be doing instead of enduring another inept performance from a team with no creativity, attacking prowess, ability to keep a clean sheet or, at times, pass the ball.

If teams like Preston, Wigan and Blackburn can produce performances showing most or all of the above why has our current leadership team not managed to build a side we can be invigorated by and put our faith in?

And what will the leadership team probably be rewarded with after the sale of the club?... walk away with a few million pounds and join another club as desperate as us to find a new manager or coach.

The prospect of inevitable relegation and, hopefully, financially viable ownership may at least give us a League One outfit in Premiership facilities, and the chance to rebuild and start afresh.

When we last dropped into the old Division Four, nobody would have believed we would be challenging for success in European competition in the future.

So let’s hope history repeats itself, although I’m probably too long in the tooth to witness it.

Howard King

Chorley, but Bolton-born

Loyal fan since the 1950s