Take it on the chin: Bolton's Gartside's comments about Leeds' finances back in 2004

Bolton Wanderers Crest

Cash strapped Bolton take on Leeds United this weekend in the FA Cup.

Bolton take on Leeds United this weekend in the FA Cup, knowing a home win would constitute somewhat of an exit.

That is not reflective on the strength of Leeds, more that it would be a surprise to see the Trotters make it to the fifth round of the FA Cup in a season which will go down as one of their worst in recent memory.

Bolton are bottom of the Championship with just three wins all season, performing as badly on the pitch as their finances off it.

The Telegraph reported in November that Bolton had called in insolvency experts to examine their options regarding a mammoth debt of £172.9 million. 

Phil Gartside, chairman until stepping down with ill health late last year, pledged that he would never let it get this bad.

Back in 2004 he made a comparison to this week's opponents Leeds, who have had their own financial problems over the past decade. 

He said, reported Bolton Wanderers Mad: "Whether it's tempting or not, we won't be going down that route, It might sound boring and people might not want to hear it, but next year will be much of the same - we will be cautious.

"I don't like seeing the demise of any club but, if you gamble and fail, you have to take the consequences. Now Leeds have got to take it on the chin and go back and rebuild from a lower platform."

This weekend Leeds will be helping Bolton out by taking a large away following to the Reebok of more than 6,000 fans, boosting gate receipts. Bolton's finances are however bad enough that boost will be just a drop in the ocean.

As Leeds discovered to their cost, it will get worse before it gets better. They were relegated to England's third tier and placed in administration - even given a huge 15 points deduction ahead of the 2007/08 season.

They later bounced back to Championship level, but have found it tough to mount a promotion challenge, and are still 'taking it on the chin' for the Peter Risdale era.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch