Steve Canavan on Blackpool’s finances

Blackpool Chairman Karl Oyston
Blackpool Chairman Karl Oyston
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KARL Oyston and Blackpool now know what it feels like to be a lottery winner.

The club has announced record pre-tax profit of £20.9m, thanks to a year of Premier League football.

And just like a lottery winner, they should spend a bit of it.

You won’t catch those couples from Nottingham who won mega-bucks from Camelot saying, ‘Let’s stick it in the bank and carry on as normal’.

No, they’ll already have bought a swanky new house, a flashy car or two and departed for a luxury holiday.

Oyston must also spend a few quid on improving the Seasiders. I don’t expect the club to bid £15m for Robin van Persie, but there are certain things that need doing, with the priorities a new training ground and the Bloomfield Road pitch.

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The training ground is a thorny topic for many fans, who were encouraged by the chairman’s pledge (more than 18 months ago). to build a state-of-the-art complex.

As far as we’re aware, this project hasn’t moved any further towards a start, never mind completion, and fans have been frustrated by the lack of progress.

Squires Gate, as homely as it is, is no place for 21st century players to be training. Blackpool aren’t a lower league club any more. They have moved beyond that and they should have a training ground which befits the likes of Kevin Phillips, Barry Ferguson and a group of quality players who deserve better.

Then there’s the pitch. The groundsman has been hindered by the lack of undersoil heating (another unfulfilled pledge) and the result is a playing surface that has been pretty poor since the turn of the year.

It is hurting the Seasiders, who are struggling to play the silky, flowing football they aspire to. Recent displays against Portsmouth and Sheffield Wednesday have been affected by the surface, perhaps against West Ham too (though, let’s be honest, that was more to do with the Hammers’ quality than a lack of grass).

The club needs to push on and improve in all areas, and what better time than now, with cash in the bank?

But to balance things out, let’s not get too greedy. Blackpool is a well-run club, enjoying its greatest period of sustained success for 40 years. They have achieved that by being sensible rather than stupid.

The money banked from a year in the top flight, if used properly, can secure the club’s future for decades.

But Pool should still get the basics done – and it doesn’t get any more basic than a long overdue new training ground and a better pitch with undersoil heating.

Give a little more to Ian Holloway too – for the manager has already proved he can bring success to the club when backed – and keep the rest in the vault, in case times get tough again. Well done to the Oystons for getting the club to where it now is. But keep pushing on, and the rewards for everyone could be even greater.

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