ANGRY Bolton players have forced Friday's friendly at Chester to be called off after refusing to play – claiming they have been unpaid for 20 weeks.
The Wanderers squad blame "severe mental and emotional stress" for repeating the strike action that meant May's Championship clash with Brentford never took place.
Trotters' players found training facilities locked up when they returned for pre-season training, with the League One club now in administration amid takeover talks.
And in a joint statement today, they said: "The players and coaching staff have not been paid by the club for 20 weeks and the administrators have not offered any financial assistance.
"It is our understanding that there are sufficient funds to provide financial help immediately, but there has been none.
"As we have stated in a previous statement, all this has caused severe mental and emotional stress, affecting both our professional and personal lives, and this has now only increased.
"Certain individuals are in need of support and none has been forthcoming from the club.
"With the new season looming, it is becoming impossible to prepare correctly for the challenge ahead.
"Contracted players and staff have returned to what they hoped would be a resolved situation and a fresh start for everyone.
"They have undertaken their duties and obligations with diligence and professionalism but how long is it reasonable for us to do so without being paid?"
National League North side Chester confirmed the cancellation of Friday's pre-season game in a statement on their website.
It said: "Chester Football Club can confirm that Friday's planned pre-season friendly at the Deva Stadium against Bolton Wanderers has now unfortunately been called off.
"The first team players of Bolton Wanderers Football Club made a statement earlier today.
"We apologise for any inconvenience caused, and wish the players, supporters and staff at Bolton Wanderers the best of luck as they search for a resolution in a difficult time for their great football club."
During their relegation term, Bolton's controversial then-owner Ken Anderson sparked a players' strike by failing to pay salaries for two months.
Now there is a new shortfall as administrators try to find buyers for the club following the collapse of Laurence Bassini’s takeover bid.
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