JOHN McGinlay feels that Wanderers paid a heavy price last season for failing to change their manager.

The former Burnden Park favourite feels Phil Parkinson’s position should have been reconsidered long before financial troubles finally made their position in the Championship untenable.

Ken Anderson said in October that he would take “any actions necessary” to correct what was then a dip in form – a statement which was widely interpreted as a warning to the manager.

But as problems piled up on and off the pitch, McGinlay feels a change at the top could have had a beneficial effect on the team’s fortunes.

“They made a good start but after a couple of defeats they had gone back to old habits by October,” he told The Bolton News.

“At that stage the manager’s position should have been under pressure, there should have been a change before Christmas, but there was nobody around to make a decision.

“The regime didn’t want to pay them off, that’s the simple truth.

“Other clubs acted and got that upturn in form and that’s what rankles with me, it’s that we didn’t try, we just put up a white flag.

“I have said it before but maybe it came out wrong – the manager didn’t hide behind the problems there were at the club but it definitely took the spotlight off him.

“It took the focus off results, off performances and he was protected with people’s sympathy.”

McGinlay is in no doubt who he feels Wanderers should have turned to on the management fromt.

“I would have given David Lee an opportunity,” he said. “He has been patient and he’s earned the right to have a crack at it with the work he’s done in the Under-23s.”

Pay issues culminated in the unprecedented player strike in April, which forced the cancellation of a league fixture against Brentford.

Wanderers still do not know what punishment they will face for failing to play the game, which was eventually awarded to the Bees in a 1-0 walkover.

An independent panel will meet in the coming weeks to assess what penalties will be placed on the club – but many expect a further points deduction on top of the 12 for going into administration.

McGinlay has sympathy for the players, even though many of them will not be with the club when it is reprimanded in League One.

“Whether it was right or wrong, they felt they had to make that stand,” he said.

“It is hard for anyone who isn’t in that position to judge.

“I will say this, it’s unfortunate not many of them will be there to take the punishment. That is what is going to make it difficult for a new owner.

“You can’t turn the clock back but if the person running the club had done it properly then we would not be in this position.”

Wanderers have just 81 days before the first ball is kicked in League One and, as yet, have just a handful of contracted players, no owner, no pre-season friendlies planned and no season ticket prices.

McGinlay feels the biggest job new ownership face is to rebuild the relationship between Bolton’s fans and the club again.

“There is a mistrust from the supporters in the town. Someone has got to get people falling in love with the club,” he said.

“Anyone coming in has got to say ‘bear with us’ because there is a lot of work to be done.

“You are looking at minus whatever points so it won’t be easy to put bums on seats, it’ll be tough. If you get off to a bad start then my big worry is that you’ll be playing to an empty stadium.

“You are probably looking at signing 20 players this summer so trying to get them to gel together is not easy given the timescale.”