LESS than a fortnight remains before Bolton Wanderers take the field at Wycombe in League One – and preparing that team might well be the hardest job in football right now.

With a takeover incomplete, there are no guarantees what names will be on Phil Parkinson’s team-sheet, or even if he will be the one handing it in.

Positive messages from the Football Ventures camp emerged over the weekend, which gave a short burst of hope that the long-running saga which has brought a founder member of the Football League to its knees may soon be at an end.

But realistically, the shell of a club that the consortium is set to inherit may already have their fate sealed.

Parkinson has had preliminary talks with the potential new owners and their consultants, but nothing has been confirmed on either side about his own future.

In the meantime, he will continue to do a job at the stadium and training ground attempting to keep some focus on the football, rather than the finance.

“Each day is crucial – not a week – each day is crucial,” he told The Bolton News. “The administrators and potential new owners have appointed a football consultancy to help with recruitment and identifying players, which is good.

“That is a wise decision because alongside this process they have had to make sure there are some plans in place and they have been liaising with me and staff. But as the days go on, players we have looked at have given us deadlines for moving on elsewhere.

“It looks like there is more positivity about things at the moment but we need them to progress as quickly as possible to get those players in the building prior to the start of the season.”

It has been widely reported that at least two Wanderers players have handed in their two-week notice but had a request to terminate the remaining 12 months of their contract turned down by the administrators.

“The PFA has been involved, as the players’ union, to advise them about their options and the two-week notice. That is ongoing,” Parkinson added.

“From the club point of view, we have got to try everything to keep those players.”

The touch-paper was lit among the players, says Parkinson, when an administrator’s report for the hotel hit the public domain last week.

Quantuma, the insolvency firm overseeing the hotel’s sale, said the matter could take “four to six weeks” to be resolved – and given its importance to the Football Ventures bid, the news did not go down well in the dressing room.

Just a couple of days later the dressing room issues a joint statement to say they had withdrawn their services for the Chester friendly. That uncertainty eventually accounted for the Preston game too.

“Last week when the article came out which said it could take four to six weeks, I knew when I read it that it would affect the players and that it would be the tipping point for the training ground,” Parkinson said.

“If you are a member of staff that hasn’t been paid for 20 weeks and then suddenly you are looking at another six weeks, that’s six months in total. And it did have an effect on the lads, who have been coming in to train every day, acting professionally, because they understand they have to train to maintain their fitness for us, or if they were to move on somewhere else, for that club.

“Everyone wants the same thing. We want the situation resolved. But we have been saying the same thing for a long time now.

“We have had some positive news and hopefully this week we will see the situation has been resolved.”