Allardyce given biggest-ever transfer war chest

May 18, 2006

Bolton manager Sam Allardyce will have more cash to spend in the summer than ever before.

He is anxious to draft in top young players and has been linked with a £7million move for Crystal Palace striker Andy Johnson.

Chief executive Allan Duckworth says each of the manager's target will be judged on merit.

Speaking at the launch of a long-term partnership with Chinese club Wuhan, he stated: 'We will raise the bar in terms of investment as we have done every year.

'There are a number of names we are looking at.

'At the end of the day it will be a combination of a decision from Sam in terms of football and who are realistically priced.

'We will look at each individual case. If we think there is a deal to be done that will actually improve the team within our financial budget then will we do it.'

Duckworth is confident Bolton, who finished eighth in the Barclays Premiership, can continue to grow.

He said: 'Of course we are ambitious. We have adopted a gradual approach in building quality and that will continue.

'We will do it our way. We are always careful we do not overstretch ourselves finanacially but at the same time we want to improve as we have done in the past.'

Meanwhile Bolton will assist in the development of grassroots football in Wuhan, which is home to eight million people.

Player and coach exchange programmes are also being introduced in the initiative.

Duckworth said: 'We have been looking at China for some time now as a potential future market.

'I am delighted that our strategy is starting to bear fruit with this partnership.'

Wuhan general manager Chen Xu Dong added: 'The Wuhan-Bolton centre will be unique in China. It will make a substantial contribution to the development of football, not just in our city but also in our country.'