Bolton, QPR try to avoid drop as EPL season ends
While Manchester rivals City and United pursue the Premier
League title on Sunday, Bolton and Queens Park Rangers will be
battling to avoid relegation.
Winning the trophy brings global prestige, but the financial
rewards from surviving in the world’s richest league can be equally
significant to teams at the wrong end of the standings.
Clubs are guaranteed around 40 million pounds ($64.5 million) in
television income and prize money from the league, with the title
winners only receiving about 20 million pounds ($32.2 million)
Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackburn have already been
relegated and Bolton, which is hoping to secure a 12th successive
topflight campaign, is in the third relegation place going into
Sunday’s final match at Stoke.
Bolton is two points behind QPR and the only way the northwest
club can realistically avoid the drop is by winning and hoping its
London rival loses at leader City.
”We know this is the last chance saloon and we have to be ready
to capitalize on that,” Bolton manager Owen Coyle said. ”The lads
are desperate to go out there and win the game … whatever happens
elsewhere is irrelevant unless we win.”
Relegation would come at the end of a season that had started
with Bolton being top of the Premier League after beating QPR on
the opening day.
But Bolton has been blighted by injuries, with key players
Stuart Holden (knee) and Lee Chung-yong (leg) heading a lengthy
Compounding Bolton’s problems, midfielder Fabrice Muamba
suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch during an FA Cup game at
Tottenham in March and fought for his life before staging a
”The events that have taken place involving this football club
this year have been beyond belief,” Coyle said. ”You couldn’t
have made this stuff up. But it’s happened, we’ve had to deal with
it and that is what we have done.”
Staying in the Premier League could be the perfect tonic for the
”With everything that happened to Fabrice … it has been great
to see his smile now,” Coyle said. ”How well he is recovering is
a big positive that has come out of everything.”
Helping Bolton’s survival cause, is Manchester City’s potential
need to beat QPR to win the Premier League. City is above
Manchester United going into the final round of matches, but only
due to its superior goal difference.
”City have got a lot riding on this match but so have we,” QPR
defender Anton Ferdinand said. ”This game determines whether
people keep their jobs or not at our club.
”We have got to do our best to make sure we stay in the Premier
League, so that every single person at this club keeps their
A point will be good enough to keep QPR in the topflight as
manager Mark Hughes returns to City, which fired him in December
But QPR has only picked up one point away from Loftus Road since
Hughes was hired by owner Tony Fernandes in January.
”We have got to go to Manchester City and try to get a point,
if not all three,” Ferdinand said. ”I have faith in my teammates
and I have faith that we can do that.”