BWFCST – Meeting With Paul Aldridge

Radio Manchester Home Game Coverage

On Monday 08 August 2016, our chair, Ian Bridge, was invited onto the BBC Radio Manchester’s Monday Football Hour programme as a studio guest. Also on the show was Kate Squire, Radio Manchester’s station manager and much of the programme revolved around the station’s coverage of local football. As most will know, Radio Manchester has been unable to agree a deal with BWFC to enable home games to be broadcast live during the ‘16/’17 season.

Kate outlined the BBC stance on the situation and the reasons for the failure to reach agreement with the club to broadcast home games. She identified that the BBC had made BWFC what they felt was a fair offer to cover the home games. The club think otherwise and that has resulted in no deal being reached for this season.

Request for Meeting

During the programme, Ian Bridge undertook to take the matter up with the club on behalf of the supporters and on Tuesday contact with the senior club management was requested.

As a result, on Tuesday 09 August ’16, Paul Aldridge met with Ian at the stadium.

Paul is currently acting in a consultancy role at the club and is reporting to the board on all areas of club business. He has been involved in the negotiations with the BBC and stated that the financial deal offered by the BBC did not meet with the club’s valuation for the live home coverage rights. He also advised that BWFC were looking for parity with other clubs of a similar size and fan base (Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday were cited by Paul as examples). Paul also confirmed that the club did have an agreement with another local commercial radio station for live coverage of home games and that the games were also available on the club’s subscription-based Wanderers Player facility.

Is There Any Way Forward?

As Kate Squire stated on air, the BBC have made what they consider to be a full and final offer to the club. Paul Aldridge restated the club’s opinion that they were not being offered a suitable sum. On that basis, it would appear that there is currently no room for negotiation. It must be stated at this point, that neither party is in a position to provide details of the sums involved to BWFCST.

However, Ian Bridge put the same question separately to both Kate and Paul and asked whether the BBC and BWFC would be open to further negotiations. Both answered that they would be prepared to discuss matters further and it would now appear that we need to keep the matter on the agenda. BWFCST will do this and attempt to assist in bringing both parties together again. We would ask all those with an opinion on this matter to make their views known by contacting us on Let us have your thoughts and we will make sure that both the BBC and BWFC are kept informed.

Watch this space……

4 Replies to "BWFCST – Meeting With Paul Aldridge"

  • comment-avatar
    August 11, 2016 (9:05 PM)

    If the club feel the deal isn’t enough I’m fully behind the club for too long we’ve accepted any deal pleased that this seems no longer the case.

  • comment-avatar
    August 12, 2016 (12:01 AM)

    Apologies, but I feel the trust have overstepped their remit on this occasion.
    I’m struggling to understand why the current incumbents of the club are being questioned on this matter.
    Can I please have some clarification on how this business decision has affected the supporters? as this isn’t clear in the statement.
    Surely obtaining a better deal than the BBC are prepared to offer is good for the club in driving higher revenues? Is driving higher revenues not a good thing? are we to question every business decision the new owners make? is this not destabilising? is their a new hidden agenda that as a member I’m not aware of? as Paul Aldridge has stated, coverage is still available, is it not?

    I am happy to be corrected if I have misread this situation, though in the recent members survey I can’t marry this questioning of the clubs business decision with the remit that the members laid out.
    I would appreciate a clarification on the matters I’ve outlaid above & thankyou in advance for your reply.

  • comment-avatar
    steve green
    August 16, 2016 (5:21 PM)

    I too am prepared to leave it in the clubs hands.Altho’ I have listened to GMR’s coverage of Bolton for years as we have dropped further down the leagues so wil the amount they are prepared to offer for games.Also Tower Fm continue to cover & whilst not in the same league as Jack coverage is available at no cost.

  • comment-avatar
    Peter Paddon
    September 5, 2016 (10:43 AM)

    If I was Wigan, Rochdale, Oldham, Bury, etc. I think I would be calling up the BBC and asking what facilities they wanted to come and broadcast my home matches for the remainder of the season free and gratis. The free publicity and opportunity to convert some young listeners into long term supporters would probably outweigh any lost short term attendances. If it’s a success, who knows the BBC may even ditch talking to Bolton in the long term and/or ditch commentary of Bolton away games.

    I listened to Tower FM covering a mid week match that I could not attend once. Never again. Amateur hour came to mind. At least you could have a laugh with Dave Higson and not merely laugh at him.

    At the least Bolton should conduct a survey of supporter attitudes to lack of BBC commentary and what they think of Tower FM coverage. Bolton also need to consider the opportunity cost of keeping other clubs out of the market.

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