Deadline looms for Pool

Blackpool's Peter Clarke was wanted by Oldham
Blackpool's Peter Clarke was wanted by Oldham
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Lee Clark has until tomorrow evening to make final changes to his Blackpool squad for this season and take advantage of a loan system under threat.

Football League clubs can make loan deals until 5pm tomorrow, but from that point they must complete the season with the players they have.

It’s unlikely anyone will leave Pool in the next 24 hours, though Oldham were believed to be sniffing around Peter Clarke.

The Latics caretaker boss Dean Holden enquired about the centre-half’s availability last week but was told the 33-year-old would not be allowed to leave after regaining his place in the Seasiders’ starting line-up.

The emergency loan system enables Football League clubs to sign players outside the two international transfer windows on contracts of no more than 93 days.

There have been moves by FIFA to outlaw the system and an FA delegation is to meet officials of the world governing body tomorrow in a last-ditch attempt to safeguard its future.

The system, introduced in 2002, could soon become a thing of the past and it doesn’t sound like Pool boss Clark would miss it. He said: “We have to start looking at having players on long-term contracts and not short- term ones.

“If we have players on loan, we should be looking at season-long deals so we have them guaranteed for the whole season.

“The rest of the players we own have to be on long-term contracts to build for the future. The short-term route we tried when I first arrived hasn’t worked.”

Blackpool have used an incredible 52 players so far this season after three squad rebuilds by Jose Riga and then current boss Clark during a season to forget.

And Clark feels the lack of stability resulting from short-term deals has contributed to Pool’s doomed campaign.

He added: “The fact we’ve used more than 50 players tells it’s own story. If you compare that to clubs in the top six of the Championship, there will be a huge difference. We’ve had a huge turnover.

“When I arrived, it was about trying to do short-term things and ultimately it’s been proven that doesn’t bring success.”