KARL Oyston says instability is to blame for Blackpool’s poor season.
After a start which suggested the Seasiders would be looking at promotion to the Premier League, they have tumbled to 17th and went into the international break four points above the drop zone.
The Seasiders have had three managers this season, after Ian Holloway and Michael Appleton walked out in the space of two months (Appleton was sacked by Blackburn yesterday).
This, along with the number of players facing an uncertain future, is the reason for the club’s plight, according to the chairman.
Oyston said: “I think stability has been the key to a lot of our success in the past, on and off the field.
“The instability we’ve had football -wise this season has caused us problems, although it’s not just down to the managerial situations.
“I think the number of players out of contract hasn’t helped us either. Normally, we’ve managed to have no more than 25 per cent of the players out of contract in any close season. This year we have a lot more.
“Until we had a manager we were not able to make decisions on players’ futures.
“That’s why it was important to get Paul Ince in place to asses their value to us.”
Pool have 36 players out of contract at the end of the season, though a large proportion of those have clauses in their deals entitling the club to keep them at Bloomfield Road for a further 12 months.
Twelve will be able to walk away on free transfers this summer, including Alex Baptiste, Kirk Broadfoot and Gary Taylor-Fletcher.
And Oyston won’t hold grudges if that’s what they choose to do.
He added: “That’s probably the case and good luck to them. They have earned that right and have done very, very well for us.
“You can’t begrudge players going on a free or even waiting to see what is out there in the summer.
“David Vaughan did very well for himself with his move to Sunderland and he went with our fond regards. He was a great player for us.
“Some other clubs try too hard to retain their players and end up in a mess. It is always a difficult balance.
Do you push the boat out to retain the players or do you keep looking round to recruit better players? Like most things, you have to balance it and try to do both.”
Manager Ince, whose predecessors this season both argued the squad was too big, said recently he wants a squad of around 25 next season, something Oyston agrees with.
The chairman said: “I think there will be a great number of players leaving, primarily as there’s no future for them here. The development squad we introduced when Ian was here will be sort of disbanded.
“A great number of those players have probably not been given much opportunity and have not developed as we hoped they would. I think there will be big changes there.
“From the first-team squad, one or two will leave who we wouldn’t want to lose, but there will be one or two who we make offers to. That’s a decision for the manager. He’s got to make those judgments.
“We’ll try to structure it properly for us to move forward.”