Blackpool will today hold talks to decide whether to appeal Paul Ince’s five-match stadium ban.
The Seasiders were stunned when the FA ruled their manager is forbidden from entering any of the stadiums in which they play their next five matches, starting with the televised home clash with Wigan on Saturday week.
It comes as a huge blow to the club , who sit sixth in the Championship.
They have until 1pm on Friday to appeal, although any such action risks the ban being extended if rejected.
The ban is the result of an incident in the tunnel following Pool’s 2-1 win at Bournemouth on September 14.
Having been sent to the stands during the game, Ince is believed to have confronted the fourth official in the tunnel and acted in a manner which resulted in three charges, the most serious of which was ‘showing behaviour towards a match official constituting violent conduct’.
It’s been reported the Blackpool boss pushed the fourth official before being dragged away by stewards.
No-one at Bloomfield Road was willing to comment on the ban but a club statement reads: “Blackpool FC acknowledges the decision of the FA and will now work closely with Paul and his coaching staff to ensure that the penalty imposed does not affect our short or long-term objectives. The club will be making no further comment at this stage.”
Ince will also miss matches against Blackburn Rovers, Nottingham Forest, Ipswich and Birmingham City and, barring a successful appeal, will not be present at a Pool match until Sheffield Wednesday visit Bloomfield Road on November 30.
Ince’s ban is one of the most severe punishments in football history.
It’s believed a number of previous charges during spells in charge of MK Dons, Blackburn and Notts County were considered by the three-man panel at the hearing at Wembley on Monday afternoon.
The panel, consisting of a member of the Hampshire FA, former Tottenham skipper Gary Mabbutt and chairman of the Football Supporters Federation Malcolm Clark, listened to evidence for several hours before issuing Ince with the ban and a £4,000 fine.
Their statement read: “Blackpool manager Paul Ince has been given a five-match stadium ban to commence with immediate effect and fined £4,000 following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing. Ince appeared before a Regulatory Commission on Monday after he was charged with three breaches of FA Rule E3, which occurred in or around the tunnel following his side’s game at AFC Bournemouth on Saturday 14 September 2013.”
Assistant manager Alex Rae, who was also facing a charge, was found not guilty and will take charge of the side during the manager’s ban.
Ironically, Ince will spend today at the FA’s new training headquarters at St George’s Park in Staffordshire completing his coaching qualifications. he’s expected to return to Blackpool tomorrow morning to take training.