Pool fans’ call for massive overhaul

Blackpool fans look dejected as their side goes 2 - 0 down
Blackpool fans look dejected as their side goes 2 - 0 down
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Blackpool fans today breathed a huge sigh of relief after their side staved off relegation - but called for a post mortem into a miserable season.

The Seasiders lost 3-0 at home to Charlton, but results elsewhere in the country saw Pool avoid the drop into League One.

Speaking after the game, tree surgeon Phil Morton, 54, from Blackpool, said: “I’m filled with relief.

“It’s been a poor season, and I’m not anti- Karl Oyston (the chairman), but he could have done a little bit more.

“The disappointing thing is the short period of time where we have gone from being in the Premier League to being where we are now.”

The club’s survival comes after a tumultuous season which began with promise and hope.

Paul Ince’s team were top of the Championship until mid-September after a blistering start to the campaign.

However, things started to fall apart when Ince received a five game stadium ban from the Football Association for abusing match officials after the team beat Bournemouth on September 14.

Assistant manager Alex Rae was also charged with an alleged use of threatening behaviour towards a match official in or around the tunnel but was cleared of all wrong doing.

This period of ill discipline from the man in charge seemed to filter down to his players, who went on a remarkable run of five red cards in two games.

A winless run and Ince’s sacking followed in January, with the former Manchester United captain only winning 12 out of his 42 games during his time in the Bloomfield Road hotseat.

Captain Barry Ferguson took over and ultimately led the team to safety by the skin of their teeth, but the closing weeks of the season were filled with fan protests both in and outside the ground.

Fans organised for a mobile billboard to be parked outside of Bloomfield Road referring to the club as Oyston’s Cash Cow ahead of the loss to Derby in early April.

A picture of Mr Oyston stood smiling next to the billboard was later posted on Twitter, and only resulted in igniting fans’ anger.

And events reached boiling point during Good Friday’s defeat to Burnley when fans halted the game by throwing tangerines and tennis balls on to the pitch in a demonstration against Oyston’s running of the club.

Fans took to forums to aim abuse at the chairman and his family, and Mr Oyston responded by reporting the culprits to police.

Pete Roberts, 53, of Church Road, Thornton, left Bloomfield Road disappointed after the defeat.

He added: “I’m relieved, but next season there needs to be some fundamental changes to Blackpool’s philosophy.

“The heart of the whole team was the problem because Paul Ince was the “Guvnor” and I don’t think he liked the old guard, so he got rid of them and brought in players that weren’t up to it.”

Steve Wignall, 60, of Breck Drive, Poulton, added: “It’s been a disappointing second half of the season and I always thought we would go down since Christmas.

“I would like to see a new manager appointed as soon as possible so he can bring players in early and not in the last week of pre-season.”

Russell Book, 42, of Carleton, said: “It’s a big relief but ultimately disappointing because if you look back over the season there’s been a lack of entertainment, and that’s been disappointing.

“You come here to be entertained and that’s not really happened this season.”

Andy Brooke, 55, of Wyvern Way, Poulton, said: “As far as I’m concerned Ince should have been sacked after the Bournemouth game because the season went downhill after that.

“Not appointing a permanent manager earlier in the season was a problem and I think today was the final nail in Ferguson’s coffin.”