Barry Ferguson has called for a decision on his future as Blackpool boss to be made so work can begin on the “massive rebuilding job” needed at the club before next season .
Only five of Pool’s 26 senior players are contracted for 2014/15.
High-profile players set to leave this summer on free transfers include Matt Gilks, Craig Cathcart, Chris Basham and Isaiah Osbourne.
The Seasiders hold options to extend the deals of 10 of the 21 out-of-contract players, including Ferguson. And it’s the future of the stand-in boss which holds the key to Pool’s squad rebuilding.
The Scot has not been given any assurances by chairman Karl Oyston, who appears in no rush to hand him the job.
But the 36-year-old says it’s important a decision is made soon. “In all honesty it needs to happen soon,” he said. “There are only five contracted players, so you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realise major changes are needed. There’s a massive rebuilding job here.
“I want to make those decisions but that’s for the powers above to decide. I’d love to be able to start now. This is a club which has major potential if we are allowed to bring in players.”
Planning for next season is hampered by uncertainty over which league the club will be in.
Steven Davies, new signing Charles Dunne, Bobby Grant, Gary MacKenzie and David Perkins are the only players signed up for 2014-15.
But it’s not just the current squad Ferguson wants to make decisions on – it’s new signings too. He explained: “I already have people in mind for next season and I need to be letting these lads know.
“They are out of contract and they need to know their futures too.
“The players here have families, so they need to know what’s happening next year. I’ll be straight down the middle with them. A couple of them are concerned, so I think we need to start making decisions soon.”
Former boss Paul Ince had plenty to say about starting pre-season training with only eight senior players last summer, and Ferguson is determined to avoid such a scenario. “I’m not dealing with that sort of situation,” he said.
“I’m not interested in eight players – I want a squad of 18, with a few young ones around too.”
Ferguson has won only one of his 10 games in charge but has shown enough promise to suggest he could be handed the role long-term. And he’s making no secret of his desire to move into management with Blackpool.
“I want to do it and I’ve made it clear,” he said. “I’m loving it and I’ve learned a lot.
“Although results haven’t been great, I’m not scared to stand up and hopefully take this club forward.”
Ferguson has a further week to make any changes to his personnel for this season – the loan deadline is 5pm next Thursday.
Pool players under contract for next season
Players Pool have an option on for 2014-15
Players totally out of contract this summer