New twist as Pool assistant boss quits

Bart De Roover
Bart De Roover
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Bart De Roover has quit as Blackpool’s assistant manager.

De Roover flew back to Belgium over the weekend after two months of working as Jose Riga’s number two at Bloomfield Road.

The 47-year-old never actually put pen to paper on a deal offered by chairman Karl Oyston and has been working for free since arriving at the club.

The pair met again last week to talk about his contract, though nothing was agreed and De Roover has now confirmed his departure.

Speaking via the Belgian football coaches’ association, De Roover stated: “I have returned to Belgium because I couldn’t sign off on my contract with Blackpool.

“There were some important terms I could not accept and September 1 was my deadline.”

De Roover’s departure casts major doubt over the future of manager Jose Riga, who saw his compatriot as his right-hand man at Bloomfield Road.

And the coach was full of praise for Blackpool’s boss.

He said: “I stayed in Blackpool the entire two months. I gave it my all out of respect for Jose.

“Jose is fantastic as a trainer but also as a person. It is a pity that it has to end like this.

“We worked hard for two months, on and off the pitch. Jose and I started the season with five players.

“Gradually we built our group, through hit and miss.

“It was a formidable task. Plus, we were working with an extremely tight budget. Of course the group was not ready for the start of the competition.

“Blackpool lost its first five games but by small margins each time.

“Now I’m looking for a new challenge.”