BEN Alnwick has revealed the emotional impact taken by Wanderers’ pay problems last season.

The Bolton keeper opened up about the stresses placed on players and staff after continual battles with former owner Ken Anderson over unpaid or late wages.

Alnwick picked up a couple of injuries early in the year and eventually featured in just two of the last 17 Championship games as Wanderers slipped to relegation.

He missed a month with a torn quad and also suffered muscular and disc problems in his back.

Speaking to The Bolton News, the 32-year-old admitted the situation became difficult to handle - and though he never refused to play for Phil Parkinson, the experienced stopped admitted the strains made it difficult to concentrate on the matters at hand.

“I don’t know how to put it,” he said. “I felt mentally drained by it all.

“I feel good now. I’m back out doing some training and like the rest of the players I’m just waiting to see what is happening with the ownership of the club now.

“So many times this last season I’ve felt that we were going into games with football on the back burner.

“It is hard to explain. The gaffer and the staff tried their best to protect us from it but in the end, probably around Christmas, it was just constant. You had the EFL involved, the PFA, you were reading something different every day. The football was just second fiddle.

“People will say ‘you’re a footballer, just go out and play’ but how can you talk about football when you have staff in tears because they can’t pay bills, or people needing food banks to get by?

“Football is all I have had since I was seven years old. It’s my life and I live for it.

“But I spend time in the hotel and know the people around the stadium and you hear them explain how this situation is affecting their mental health, their happiness at home, it is having a massive effect on everyone.

“If someone can come in and just get us talking about football again, it would be a start.”

Alnwick is contracted to next season and says he wants to help get the club back on an even keel.

“We have come a long way with the gaffer and his staff, so when you see them not getting paid and it really, really taking a toll, it is bound to affect you,” he said.

“When you go around Bolton people say you must be desperate to jump ship and leave – but I’m absolutely not. I love the place, and I’m not alone.

“It is absolutely full of good people around the stadium, the hotel, the training ground. And we have been through a lot, right back from getting promotion in my first season.”