Bolton Back To Europa S6E4 – Just 90 Minutes Away…

Welcome all to the Season 6 finale of the save as Bolton’s first season back in the Premier League draws to a close but we don’t just have the league to pay attention to as the team experience some of the magic that the FA Cup provides every season.

Episode 3 showed an upturn in form following a busy January transfer window and we looked to secure safety as a first point of call. However, the momentum could have the ability to elevate the team further up the table if we could sustain the levels we showed in February.

3 more months of football to be had in this one, you won’t believe how close we are getting to Europa League qualification by the end of the episode. Quite a few others bits flying about outside of the pitch, so let’s crack right on and see what is happening at Bolton Wanderers Football Club.

March 2026 News

As soon as I progressed into March, a job offer came out of nowhere from German club Wolfsburg. It seems I get offered jobs that would be great projects but I am going nowhere.

The takeover talk continued not to shift as the board begin to intervene as they rubbish the talks however, is this just a cover up whilst things progress behind the scenes? I guess only to future holds that destiny.

Something that I did find very interesting was the ‘Profit per Team’ graph as it shows what teams are careful with their money and thriving, whilst others have ability to splash the cash where and when they want.

Currently Bolton are the 2nd most profitable team in the Premier League. Most of our income is TV revenue and gate receipts as attendance sells out every home match. Everton had a tycoon takeover earlier in the season and the profit shows with the massive £365m that has been pumped in!

A lot of the clubs with losses is due transfers, whether its that one marquee signing or simply overspending in the market with the hope of making it back over the season.

March 2026 Results

League and FA Cup action to come in March, it’s all about grinding out the results and seeing where it takes us.

And we done exactly that with the second unbeaten month in a row! Tottenham were our opponents in the fifth round of the FA Cup and we finally beat one of the ‘big 6’ to progress with a 2-1 victory. A Tarrelle ‘The Bagsman’ Whittaker brace either side of Spurs’ goal as we begin to show that we have the ability to hang with the big boys in phases of the game.

Back to league action and we faced Bournemouth in which we carried on our good form with an early Tarrelle Whittaker strike being enough for a 1-0 win which is very fine margins but the 3 points is all that matters. Up next was tycoon rich Everton which was a good battle ending 1-1 on the day. Lewis Bate got us on our way with a VAR driven penalty but Everton got their share of the points equalising shortly after.

Bottom placed Fulham were up next and at the this point they had only won one game in the league. These games can be difficult but it was more of a frustrating watch as we piled on the chances but couldn’t convert until the 82nd minute when Uriel Antuna slotted home a loose rebound – panic over. March finished with the FA Cup Quarter Final vs. Blackburn Rovers in a match where we dominated again for 90 minutes and more but the team just couldn’t convert. Off to penalties we went with the first 18…yes 18 being converted before Blackburn missed as the last of their defenders stepped up. Ruben Iranzo slotted home to give us a semi final place much to my relief, it finished 0-0 (10-9 on pens).

Another very good month for the team but maybe we’re running out of ideas going forward as the goals slowly begin to dry up.

Youth Intake 2026

A pretty decent youth intake with 6 players signing contracts with us who we will look to develop. Luke Jones & Craig Searle look the most likely to reach the first team however, the others definitely have the potential if the club can get the best out of them in the U18s & U23s.

April 2026 News

The only takeaway from April was actually one of our youngsters who was out on loan. Kyle Caldwell won the Scottish League 1 player of the season award after an insane season with Aidrieonians.

40 goals in 34 appearances as well as 8 assists in the league isn’t the full story. When you add in cup competions, he scored a massive 48 goals in 46 appearances! Yes it isn’t the highest level but you can’t question such a goal return. The plan with Caldwell is to loan him back out next season but get him playing at around Scottish Premier League/EFL League one level.

April 2026 Results

Momentum is very good and I wanted more of the same in April, also a massive game as we have a trip to Wembley for the FA Cup semi final.

A mixed month I’d say in the league, which actually started very brightly as we took a deserved 1-0 win vs. Arsenal. When we played the same side in November we deserved more (0-0 draw back then) and this time the boys got the job done with a big 3 points at the Emirates courtesy of the main man Tarrelle Whittaker. Next up was Manchester United who we’ve become closer and closer to beating every time we have played them. It wasn’t the case again this time as we lost 3-2 after taking a 2-1 lead through Lucas Da Cunha & Tarrelle Whittaker. Keeping Erling Haaland quiet was the struggle as his second half brace gifted his side the win.

The team recovered a few days later as in form winger Lucas Da Cunha’s goal gave us another 1-0 win vs. Southampton. Very Fergie-esque grinding out 1-0 wins but when you’re Bolton in the Premier League you take what you can get!

FA Cup semi final vs. Crystal Palace and I fielded a strong team to not take any chances. To ‘the Eagles’ credit, they gave us a really good go but Tarrelle Whittaker’s early first half strike secured us a 1-0 win to progress to the FA Cup final where we will face our main nemesis Manchester United – what a match that could be! Even though we had just reached the final of England’s biggest domestic cup, the press were more interested in bragging rights for my right back Jude Russell who is a former Crystal Palace player…

The goal didn’t even need VAR, more used for match dramatics on this occasion!

With the celebrations of reaching the final over, my side travelled to Norwich who were fighting relegation but they shocked us with a 1-0 defeat following our recent good form. It was a goal out of nowhere in the 72nd minute and they defended diligently shutting us out, fair play to them in that respect but we should have done better here.

6 more points in the league and we reach our first final of the save, not too bad all in all!

May 2026

I’m going to jump straight into the results as there was not much news to share in May, league wise there wasn’t much to play for but I wanted a strong finish to the season before the big FA Cup final.

To finish off the season, it 5 points in an unbeaten month starting with a crazy 3-3 draw with Brighton. After taking a lead through Tarrelle Whittaker, we found ourselves 2-1 down. Tarrelle Whittaker then equalised before Brighton scored in the 83rd minute. It was an open game, I threw players forward and Shane McNeill comes in late at the back post for a 94th minute equaliser, absolute scenes!

The match with Leicester was quite a bit tamer as it ended 1-1 with no late equalisers, Tarrelle Whittaker was on hand to score once again. A nice victory to finish off this season by beating Wolves 2-0 in front of the home fans. Even though there was nothing to play for, this was one of my favourite performances of the season, such a professional job by the team defensively and winning their midfield battles. Tarrelle Whittaker (of course) grabbed a goal and left back Leif Davis scored his first goal for the club following a smart finish following an overlap into the box.

So that’s the league sown up, I will reveal the league table soon but first the FA Cup final at a sold out Wembley Stadium.

Now this was a massive game for me, the club and the save itself. If we win then we will qualify for the Europa League group stage which would essentially trigger my last season at the club next season. Against Manchester United it was going to be tough, their squad is unbelievable but I wanted to believe in the magic of this legendary cup. The match stats were like this, I’ll let you make your own judgements – were we dominated score wise? Did we pull of a goal against the run of play?

Safe to say all our chances were on the counter but Man Utd’s could definitely be seen as the attacking team here…unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be.

A 29th minute Erling Haaland strike sealed our fate as we just couldn’t get periods of play to allow us to put real pressure on our opposition. I can’t be too disheartened as we just got back to the Premier League this season but losing any final hurts.

The curtain closes on our season fixture wise but something that was pleasing was Tarrelle Whittaker getting recognition at Premier League level, winning May’s Player of the Month.

League Table 2025/26

A very successful first season back in the Premiere League finishing in a massive 8th place! I think in general it was quite a low scoring points haul across the league, there was quite a divide between the top 6 and the rest of the league. I think for my Bolton side, considering we were 18th at the end of January we have been absolutely outstanding since February and it fills me with confidence that we could be capable of more. Although I am well aware of second season syndrome so the first port of call will be securing safety as early as possible before we think further ahead!

Season Review/Awards 2025/26

Feel free to flick through the season review, it’s always nice to celebrate a good season back in the big time.

Young first team goalkeeper Daryl Kandola was voted the English Players’ Young Player of the Year following his heroics in goal this season, safe to say he was the cause of some important points this season.

However, this seem to spark a change in attitude from Kandola as he also got called up to England’s World Cup squad as he now wants to move to a bigger club. There is an agreement between us however as we both agreed he could only leave if another club bid £74 million pounds. Yes you read that right and no its not a typo!

Right now, there is no interested in him but it could happen at any point of the summer window so I’ll have to get a replacement in or at least have a target ready to buy.

Finances

Something which I’m finding weird to look at is the fact that for the first time in the save, Bolton Wanderers are completely debt free and do not owe money to anyone!

Following this, our Chairman Scott Campbell shut down takeover talk before giving us a bit of a war chest for next season. If you’re pumping money like that into the club then surely he can’t leave?

I cant get my head around this club having £54 million to spend and an £800k wage budget when 6 seasons ago there was no budget and only £40k in the wage budget. It’s truly amazing stuff we are all witnessing! Finally the overall finances (thank you Premier League TV & Prize money) consider us as a rich club!

What’s Next?

Season 7 is up next as we look to confirm safety as early as possible in the Premier League but can we reach our destiny of the Europa League? A big season where I want big things to happen!

Whilst you are exploring the DP-FM site, go take a look at Louis’ (Co-blogger/creator of DP-FM) challenge where he is embarking on his series ‘Unemployed, Unskilled & Inexperienced’ which is currently on season 8. This entails Louis starting from the bottom of his management career with no coaching badges and low attributes to add to the fun!

To go from the start – https://dpfmblog.com/2020/12/21/unemployed-unskilled-inexperienced-season-1-episode-1/

Or to go from the current season – https://dpfmblog.com/2021/03/22/unemployed-unskilled-inexperienced-s8-ep-1-premier-league-preparations/

The start of season 7 will be here hopefully in the next week, thank you all for reading this, I hope everyone enjoyed and make sure you take care out there.

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