KEN Anderson’s controversial ownership of Bolton Wanderers is finally at an end – and one of the club’s longest-standing servants says the difference in everyone’s mood is as stark as day and night.

Wednesday finally brought the news players, coaches, staff members and fans had been eagerly awaiting as Sharon Brittan’s consortium confirmed they had completed the buyout, meaning one of the most tumultuous periods in the club’s history was over and attention could at long last be turned to footballing matters.

Interim manager Jimmy Phillips explained just what it meant to everyone connected with Wanderers, and how the weight of the world had been lifted from everyone’s shoulders when he addressed the media yesterday.

“The mood is completely different to the previous three years,” he told The Bolton News.

“We had a very positive introductory meeting with the new owners yesterday, they met all the staff and I think all the staff left the room really buoyed and looking forward to a bright future again.

“It’s chalk and cheese to what we did have here and it’s all about looking to the future now, we can’t change the past but we can certainly change the future and that’s what everybody’s striving to do.

“I don’t think it affected me more than anyone else, I wouldn’t say that, because we’re all in it together and we all worked very conscientiously doing our jobs under difficult circumstances, but I think the thing now for us as a club is to say ‘yes, that was the past, that was the last three years but it’s the future that we can shape and if we all work hard together hopefully we can create a bright future once again for the club’.”

Academy boss Phillips took the reins following Phil Parkinson’s resignation and oversaw last weekend’s heavy defeat to Ipswich, a patched-together side containing a smattering of senior pros, mostly populated by the club’s youths, filling in admirably once again.

And as work continued in the background, secretary Simon Marland toiling away in a bid to add more experience to the squad, Phillips says appointing Parkinson’s successor must be at the top of the new owners’ extensive to-do list.

Bury’s sad demise means just three teams will be relegated from League One this season but although Bolton started with a 12-point deduction for entering administration, he feels there are too many points to be played for for supporters to write off this campaign and resign themselves to League Two.

“The first thing they are going to do is appoint a first-team manager,” added Phillips

“We need to sign some players if we possibly can to strengthen the team – we’re allowed 12 more signings for the season.

“The young lads need help. I think we’re the only club that’s been in administration and had so few first-team players to choose from.

“But the young players have been brilliant.

“They’ve come in and given it their all, they’ve not let themselves or the club down.

“We’re working hard on that, whether we will be able to do that I don’t know.

“We’ve certainly got Jack Hobbs signed up and we’re just waiting for clearance from the Football League, but I think the owners have to appoint a manager, that’s the first thing they have to do and then take it from there.

“I think with Phil Parkinson resigning last week it derailed their thoughts a little bit because I’m pretty sure they were looking to keep Phil and [assistant manager] Steve Parkin at the club and so it’s given them another hurdle to climb over and, as they said to the group of staff members in the room yesterday, they were uncertain whether they would be able to get the takeover over the line.

“So they didn’t set about appointing a first-team manager because they didn’t realise whether they would actually be the new owners or not.

“So it’s a position that they know is vital for the club to start up and running and it’s an area in which they’re concentrating all their thoughts at this moment in time.”