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Gartside's Anelka fear
07 Feb 2007 - 11:05:05
Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside has warned that the club may have to sell Nicolas Anelka if crowds at the Reebok Stadium do not improve.
Even though Bolton are fifth in the Premiership table, average attendances are only 23,000 this term - down 2,000 on last season.
Anelka moved to the club from Fenerbahce six months ago in an £8million transfer, but Gartside is concerned that the France international may have to be sold in the summer.
"If we want to keep players like Nicolas happy, we've got to give them the support they deserve," he said.
"Fans have to realise that they can actually help the players, especially the likes of Nicolas Anelka, who are used to playing in major stadiums in front of big crowds.
"We need to improve the atmosphere here. We've got to look at incentives to get more people coming here, but we've still got to be realistic and business-like about it.
"We're not milking it, we aren't making piles of money and we are putting a lot back into facilities. All that comes at a cost.
"Some of the TV money will go towards keeping the cost of football down for the fans. But we need the fans to get behind us now.
"It was disappointing to see that 2,500 season ticket holders didn't bother to turn up for the Charlton game. We could do with more than that on Sunday."