DONCASTER ROVERS have revealed their surprise at Bolton Wanderers' decision to call off their League One tomorrow night - without the agreement of themselves or the English Football League.
Crisis-hit Wanderers - who have just two senior professionals - say they were forced into the decision due to potential welfare issues with young players in their squad.
The club's administrators have confirmed that the match will not go ahead after medical and coaching staff raised concerns about teenage players potentially playing a fourth game in 11 days.
Rovers had completed all their pre-match preparation, with manager Darren Moore speaking to the press on Monday afternoon to preview the fixture - ahead of Bolton's decision.
On the move by Bolton, Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin commented: “Bolton Wanderers have postponed this game without the agreement of Rovers or the EFL and we were surprised to learn of the news via Bolton’s social media.
"We have a lot of sympathy for Bolton’s plight, but we’ve prepared for this game as normal and fully expected it to go ahead.
"We will work with the EFL to understand this situation and keep supporters as informed as we can when we are able to say more."
Meanwhile in a separate statement, the EFL also revealed their concern at a lack of communication from Bolton to them regarding the unilateral decision taken by the club and spoke of the possible ramifications regarding the 'integrity' of the competition.
A statement read: "The club (Bolton) has stated it has taken the decision to postpone the game as a result of concerns over the welfare of its young players given the frequency of fixtures and the impact this would have on their physical and emotional well-being.
"The EFL understands the challenging position the club currently finds itself in whilst negotiations continue over its purchase.
"However, it would have expected the club to have first interfaced with the EFL, giving it an opportunity to consider the application to postpone, and consulted with the club’s opposition, Doncaster Rovers before making a public announcement.
"The EFL remains acutely aware of the ongoing risks this challenging and complex situation has to the integrity of the competition."
Earlier, statement from Bolton's joint administrator Paul Appleton, speaking on behalf of David Rubin and Partners, announced the reason behind the club's decision to postpone the fixture, citing welfare concerns as being the reason behind the move.
It read: “It is with real regret and a deepening sense of frustration that we have been forced to postpone tomorrow's fixture against Doncaster Rovers.
"Whilst the possibility of EFL sanctions is obvious, nothing can be allowed to impact on the welfare of such a young group of players. With so many senior players injured or unavailable, the squad has performed heroically and deserves so much credit.
“But after consultation with the club's medical staff as well as both academy and senior football management, it is obvious that to call on them for another match without an adequate break would be detrimental to both their welfare and development which cannot be allowed.
“We were able to bring in reinforcements before the match against Coventry because the deal was so close to completion.
"Now, following recent events, the legal position of various parties has altered which means a delay in completion. In this situation, it is very difficult to attract available players to the club.
“I will be discussing the implications with the EFL but in the meantime, I would call on all parties involved with the acquisition of the club and hotel to end this intolerable delay and secure once and for all the future of Bolton Wanderers.
“Further details on reimbursement for any tickets sold for tomorrow's game will follow.”
Bolton also said fans will also be issued with details of how to get refunds for their tickets as quickly as possible.