Karl Oyston has lifted the lid on Sunday’s meeting with Paul Ince and told the Blackpool manager: “We can’t carry on like this”.
Chairman Oyston feels Ince was not properly prepared for the transfer window with a list of realistic targets.
Oyston summoned Ince, along with assistants Alex Rae and Steve Thompson, for talks over a run of form he describes as “horrendous”.
And although the manager wasn’t sacked, Oyston stopped short of giving any long-term assurances.
The chairman told The Gazette :“You can’t be on the run we are on and not question the future of the manager.
“I think we all have to look at ourselves and our role in what’s going on to see what we can do to arrest the problems.
“We have to assess everything, every option.”
Sunday’s four-hour meeting followed a weekend of silence from the club, Ince having refused to talk to the media after the defeat at Barnsley.
But Oyston had no problem in talking openly about the situation. He added: “I’ve no idea how these things (news of the meeting) get out in the public. It certainly didn’t come from me. I don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest to conduct what’s going on at the moment in the glare of the media spotlight.
“It’s pretty clear to anyone involved at the club that things aren’t good. We are on a horrendous run and we need players. I’ve made it clear that we need to be given information by the manager in order to help him.
“If we don’t get that information, then we are all done for and something has to give.
“The message is we can’t carry on like this, otherwise we’ll end up back in League One.
“That would be a horrific shame as we have some very good players. We have the ability and desire to bring in some new players. We can’t do that unless we are given a list of players we need.”
Ince saw key targets, such as Middlesbrough’s Frazer Richardson, slip away last week and has so far managed to add only David Perkins to his squad since the transfer window opened at the start of the month.
But Oyston claims the club’s transfer policy is something the manager has to deal with.
He said: “We have a certain way of doing things at Blackpool which has served us and our managers very well over the years.
“For some reason, which I can’t work out, people seem to think we will change our policy. Well, we won’t. People either buy into it or they don’t.
“We need leads and suggestions. That has to come from Paul, Alex and Steve and it needs to come quickly.
“As we stand it’s three weeks too late now. We should have hit the floor running on the first of January, all prepared.
“It’s poor that we weren’t in a position to do that. That’s one of the main things we discussed on Sunday.
“In order to be able to get players we need leads and suggestions. Matt (Williams, club secretary) and I can’t decide who we sign.
“All we can do, once we’ve got a good list of targets, is get out there and try to bring the best ones to the club.
“I’ve certainly made our feelings known about what needs to happen to get out of this. It’s now in the hands of others.
“It’s down to Paul, Alex and Steve to give us what we need to be able to help them.”
Oyston has a reputation for not getting involved in on-the-field matters, something which earned praise from Ian Holloway in recent years.
And the chairman won’t be changing his style. “I don’t want to change the policy I have of not interfering with the football,” he said.
“I won’t get involved in the day-to-day football side and don’t want to.
“I don’t want to to be deciding which players we bring in because frankly that’s not my role. My role is to do deals to bring players to the club in a way which empowers the manager.
“I’ve not been given the opportunity to do that. It’s a serious issue.”
GAZETTE OPINION: Are Pool ‘done for’ without change?
“It’s pretty clear to anyone involved at the club that things aren’t good.”
That is the overview of Blackpool FC chairman Karl Oyston.
Seasiders fans will see that as one hell of an understatement.
Just a few short months ago Pool were riding on the crest of a wave – top of the League after a stunning start to the season.
Now, in the depths of a winter of discontent, many of those fans who bought their Paul Ince charity masks after the Pool manager was suspended from the stadium are in the mood for binning them – that is if they still have them at all.
Nine defeats in the last 10 games have seen the club spiral towards the relegation zone.
The squad is so threadbare, results so dire, the passion and fight of players now being so questioned that it appeared to many Ince was on his way out of the club at the weekend.
Leaving tactics and team selection to one side, Oyston’s revelation today that he wants to bring in players but has not been given a list of prospective transfer targets is quite astonishing given we are three weeks into the transfer window.
The famously frugal chairman has long been the target of angst from supporters who believe more of the Premier League millions should be reinvested into the playing side of the business.
“We are on an horrendous run and we need players,” Oyston told us. “I’ve made it clear we need to be given information by the manager in order to help him. If we don’t get that information then we are all done for and something’s got to give.”
What this says about the current manager/chairman relationship is perhaps telling given it is only two weeks since Oyston told fans they were “lucky” to have the former England captain as manager.
It’s hard to gauge Ince’s feelings or take on the situation as he has refused to speak to the media over the last week.
But what is not open for debate is this proud old club is in danger of falling headfirst towards relegation. And that would be a real tragedy given the club has the fanbase and resources to fight at the other end of the Championship.
Whether there is any way back for Ince is highly questionable. A fans group last night reiterated calls for him to go – adding to the many such calls chanted over the last few weeks.
Sometimes in football managers and clubs just don’t click. Paul Ince is seemingly in a very lonely place right now at Bloomfield Road with no obvious sign his luck will change.
He admirably helped steer Pool away from relegation last year. But that, and the great start to this season when his skill as a “motivational powerhouse” (as this newspaper described him) was evident, is now merely a dim and distant memory.
Whatever the outcome of the next few crucial days, one thing is clear – there is an army of Seasiders fans who deserve much better than this.