Nicky Adams might be persona non grata on the streets of Breighmet right now – but the Bury midfielder is fighting a battle with which Wanderers fans will definitely identify.

In typically playful style, the 32-year-old teased in a recent interview that he would celebrate a goal in front of his Bolton-supporting mates next season.

And, suffice it to say, that remark has ensured a fair bit of interaction on social media for the last few days.

While some took umbrage with Adams’ tongue-in-cheek comment, those familiar with the scampering winger will know he has been at the forefront of a running battle with the Shakers ownership, amid financial problems very similar to those which have been experienced at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Players unpaid for three months, non-football staff struggling to get by, curious missives from the chairman – all boxes which have been ticked on this side of town in the last few months.

Talking to The Bolton News, Adams offered an olive branch to any Bolton fans who took offence but hopes he can play the pantomime bad guy when the two teams meet next season with both clubs on a more even keel.

“My mates are big Bolton fans and I’m always winding them up, calling them Horwich Casuals, but it was honestly just a bit of banter,” he said.

“I think some people took it wrong but, honestly, I was just having a laugh in an interview.

“I’ve been on Talksport, Sky Sports, BBC, all sorts over the last few days and it’s no laughing matter. It’s a serious situation at Bolton and at Bury and it needs sorting out.

“We’re talking about people’s livelihoods and clubs that have been around forever. Supporters put their hard-earned money in and they expect those two great clubs to be looked after.

“I want to be talking about the football, not whether a game is going to go ahead or if we’re going to get paid next week or not.

“We should be looking forward to playing in a top stadium like Bolton next season, not worrying if we’re going to be at the club, or if we’ll even have a job.

“I’d love to think when the Bolton game comes up I can have a bit of banter with my mates and get a few boos for what I’m doing on the pitch.”

The Shakers managed to secure automatic promotion from League Two despite their own financial problems hitting the headlines in the final few months of the season and, admits Adams, taking a toll on their form during the run-in.

Wanderers’ players went on strike with their relegation fate already sealed – but the Bury midfielder revealed both sets of players have swapped notes on their respective situations.

“I know David Wheater pretty well and me and a few of the lads went over to see him recently to have a chat about how it had been,” he said.

“He’s a top lad – and what people don’t realise is that he’s been helping staff and younger players out, people that can’t afford to put food on the table, or to travel into training.

“We have done the same. Myself and Neil Danns have collected a bit of money together to help people at Bury who haven’t been paid.

“I think the situation was harder at Bolton because they were battling against relegation in the Championship – and that division has massive money. When you’re in that situation there’s a lot of pressure on you.

“We were flying. Maybe that took the attention off things because we were going well and winning games but this has been happening since last summer, we’d just managed to keep it under wraps.

“The gaffer and Steve Schumacher are very good at that. They have kept the focus on the games.

“We probably should have won the league, being honest, and the problems we’d had just took the edge off us a bit.”