Bolton part company with Neil Lennon following Dean Holdsworth’s takeover

Neil Lennon has parted company with Bolton
Neil Lennon has parted company with Bolton

Bolton have parted company with Neil Lennon just days after Dean Holdsworth’s takeover.

Wanderers are bottom of the Sky Bet Championship and 11 points from safety following Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Preston.

They have won just four league games all season and Lennon departs having won just 18 times in 80 matches in charge.

A club statement read: “Bolton Wanderers can announce that the club have today, Tuesday 15 March, parted company with manager Neil Lennon by mutual consent.

“All at Bolton Wanderers would like to thank Neil for his contributions during his time at the club.

“Academy manager Jimmy Phillips will take charge of the first team on an interim basis.”

Bolton go to Bristol City on Saturday under new ownership after a Holdsworth-led consortium, Sports Shield Group, completed a takeover on Friday.

The club needed a third stay of execution from a High Court judge last week when faced with a winding-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs.

New chief executive Holdsworth, a former Wanderers player, offered no assurances over Lennon’s future last week and the former Celtic boss departs on the back of a seven-game winless run which has left Bolton on the brink of relegation to Sky Bet League One.

They are also yet to win away in the Championship this season having lost 14 of their 18 games on the road.

The Championship club had been operating under a cloud of uncertainty for over four months before Holdsworth completed his takeover with long-time owner Eddie Davies, whose decision to withdraw his financial backing left the club teetering on the brink of liquidation.

Lennon, like Dougie Freedman before him, therefore had to make cutbacks to his squad and wage bill while being unable to bring in any players since a Football League embargo was imposed on the side at Christmas.

Striker Emile Heskey, who played with Lennon at Leicester before reuniting with him at the Macron Stadium, concedes those factors made the job challenging for the former Celtic manager.

“It’s been a difficult time for the whole club, him as well,” he told Press Association Sport.

“We haven’t got the players that he probably would have liked to have brought in. We’re working on a shoestring really.

“He showed last year he could still produce on a shoestring, but we’ve still had to cut it from then. It’s been very difficult.

“We’ve actually played some good football, it’s just that final third we haven’t really got it right. We know that in general we’re struggling to keep the ball out of our net.”

Asked if he believes his ex-Foxes colleague will bounce back from his time at Bolton, Heskey replied: “Yeah, 100 per cent, definitely.”