Seip at centre of Plymouth row

MARCEL Seip has vowed to concentrate on his football as he and his family find themselves at the centre of a bizarre row at parent club Plymouth.

The 27-year-old plays the final game of a month-long loan spell when Pool take on Doncaster on Saturday, though the Seasiders are expected to extend his stay.

But his preparations are being overshadowed by a controversy relating to Pool's recent win over Argyle, when Seip – given the green light to play despite being on loan – headed the opening goal.

Plymouth's players were unhappy that the board had allowed Seip to play against the club that employs him.

They also felt that Seip's wife and mother-in-law – who are the daughter and wife of Argyle deputy chairman Paul Stapleton – had appeared to be disloyal to the Pilgrims by expressing pleasure at the result of the game.

At the end of the game, while sitting in the directors' box at Bloomfield Road, Seip's mother-in-law was photographed giving the thumbs up to the defender.

But while all this might appear to the neutral to be little more than family support, the reaction in Plymouth has been very different.

This image was printed on a website and in a local paper.

And when Argyle skipper Carl Fletcher scored against Ipswich on Saturday, he and the majority of his team-mates raced in the direction of their directors' box and gave a thumbs up gesture.

Fletcher said: "I think there was a certain photograph (at Blackpool) of people celebrating us losing.

"It isn't nice when it feels like some people are not wanting us to go out there and win on a Saturday.

"When the politics of a football club start to affect us on the field, then we have a right to stand up and say something. It was the right thing to do.

"Marcel playing for Blackpool should never have happened.

"It made the whole club look like a Mickey Mouse club, and players take that to heart.

"At the end of the season, if we get relegated by one goal, that's going to affect the livelihoods of 30-odd players here and people working at the club."

The fact that Seip's wife and family have been dragged into it has been distressing for the defender.

And today he put his side of the story over, saying he was disappointed with the conduct of Plymouth's players.

"I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion," said Seip.

"I am disappointed that the players felt they needed to react in the way they did, just because I was allowed to play against Argyle and that my wife and mother-in-law gave me a thumbs up after the game.

"After every game they give me a thumbs up – even if we lose.

"They were disappointed that Argyle lost but also happy that I played well.

"They are Argyle fans but they are also my family.

"The fact that I was allowed to play was not anything to do with my family. It was the decision of the manager and the board of Argyle.

"I think the issue has been discussed enough now and all I want to do is concentrate on my football and the Argyle players should do the same."