Cash-saving cuts at Blackpool could force McDonald out

Neil McDonald

Neil McDonald

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Neil McDonald remains as Blackpool manager – but only just after the reality of relegation to League Two began to bite.

After a week of silence from Bloomfield Road over McDonald’s future, it is believed the 50-year-old remains in charge after further talks with chairman Karl Oyston over the weekend.

However, The Gazette understands McDonald is less than happy about proposed cuts to his staff, his budget and his wages, casting a huge doubt over his future at Bloomfield Road.

A statement released by the “board” last Monday referred to the “financial implications” of relegation and warned that “operations” would be reviewed over the summer.

It is understood that chairman Oyston has already informed McDonald of several proposed cuts, including a reduction in his salary.

McDonald will see his wages drop this summer in line with a clause in his contract, as will a number of Blackpool’s players.

But it is the structural changes which are believed to have left McDonald considering his position.

There are now major doubts over the future of goalkeeper coach Steve Banks and kitman Russ Byrne-Frazer as full-time staff members, while the club’s media team could be slashed from three to just one.

An end to the funding of players’ meals before and after training has also been discussed.

Last season the squad ate in Rowley’s restaurant on Bloomfield Road either side of training sessions.

In addition, overnight hotel stays ahead of away games are to be cut back.

Pool travelled on Fridays for many away fixtures last season, including the match at Crewe, which is just over an hour away.

All of this, on top of a reduction in player wages forced on the club by Financial Fair Play rules and the ongoing supporters’ unrest have left McDonald questioning his future.

His predecessor Lee Clark quit a year ago following relegation from the Championship, branding the job “impossible” – a sentiment echoed by McDonald last week.

The Pool boss admitted: “It’s been an impossible job, yes. I don’t think the club has been shown in a good light by anybody, and I mean anybody.

“The club has been on a downwards spiral and it’s been very, very difficult. It’s not for the lack of trying.

“But we needed support and encouragement from everyone involved in the football club.”

McDonald’s time at Bloomfield Road has been unsuccessful so far, with the Seasiders winning just 13 of his 50 games in charge.

Pool also failed to score in half of their league games in a season which ended with a 5-1 defeat to Peterborough eight days ago.