Joey Barton, the Fleetwood Town manager, has criticised Bolton boss Phil Parkinson over his deadline-day approach for Sheffield United's Ched Evans, adding: “That is why they will probably get relegated from the Championship".
As The Star revealed last week, Parkinson’s men tried to sign Welsh international Evans on loan before the transfer window closed on Thursday evening, after Sunderland had discussed a permanent move.
Sunderland had made similar offers for striking targets at clubs across the English Football League, eventually signing Wigan’s Will Grigg in a £4m deal, and when they withdrew their bid Bolton stepped in with an approach to take Evans on loan.
To cut short Evans’ spell at Fleetwood Town, however, would have required the green light from United, Town and the player himself, and Barton's men were unwilling to sanction such a proposal at the eleventh hour on deadline day.
Evans, then, remained at Highbury and after his teammates jokingly placed a Bolton scarf above his peg in the dressing room ahead of Saturday’s clash with Charlton Athletic, the striker then scored the winning goal to take his tally for the season to 13 in 28 games.
And, speaking to the Blackpool Gazette, Barton said: "We have not made a mistake here, it is the other clubs.
"To do Bolton and Ched a favour, Andy [Pilley, chairman] would have cost himself the better part of £400,000-£500,000.
"As a football club we cannot afford to do that. You might be able to if you are in the Championship or Premier League but we cannot do it at Fleetwood. Especially not to help Bolton out.
"They would not help us out - clearly. They made the move they made not to help us out.
"The disappointing thing for me is Phil Parkinson did not have anything about him.
"When I see him I will tell him about picking the phone up and being a man about it. They tried to do it in the incorrect fashion and that is why they do not have a striker and that is why they will probably get relegated from the Championship.
"When you conduct yourself in the manner that they do, nobody will have any sympathy for them."