No promotion party for Pool as players jet off on holiday

Goalscorers Brad Potts and Mark Cullen of Blackpool celebrate with the trophy (Pic: Gary Day/JMP
Goalscorers Brad Potts and Mark Cullen of Blackpool celebrate with the trophy (Pic: Gary Day/JMP
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There will be no promotion party for Blackpool’s players – because they’ve already jetted off on their holidays.

Resort mayor Ian Coleman invited Seasider boss Gary Bowyer and his Wembley heroes for a civic reception, an offer he said still stands.

“The manager and players at Blackpool Football Club have had a successful season, culminating in an excellent win at Wembley,” he said.

“And on behalf of the town I would like to congratulate them for their achievement.

“We invited Gary Bowyer and the team to a special mayor’s parlour this week but sadly they have already jetted off on a well-deserved rest and were unable to attend.

“That offer is still open to them and I would be delighted to welcome them into the town later in the summer, before the start of their League One campaign in August.”

A Blackpool FC spokesman said: “The club can confirm that it received an invitation to attend the Mayor’s Parlour on Tuesday June 6, however most of the first-team squad and coaching staff are now away on family holidays.

“The club has kindly thanked the Mayor and Mayoress for the invitation and remains open to celebrating the promotion at the Town Hall later in the summer.”

Pool were promoted following a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Exeter City on Sunday, making the club the most successful in English play-off history, with five promotions from eight campaigns to their name.

Fewer than 6,000 Blackpool fans in a crowd of 23,380 watched the final, as thousands stayed away as part of an ongoing boycott in protest against the club’s owners.

In contrast, when the Seasiders were promoted to the top flight in 2010, 35,000 fans travelled to London – a quarter of the town’s population – and a huge crowd lined the streets for an open-top bus parade along the Promenade.

The Championship final, which saw the best Seasiders side in decades beat Cardiff 3-2, was said to be worth around £90m to the club.

Former Carlisle United youth player Brad Potts, who scored the opening goal last weekend and lifted the trophy just a year after tasting the bitterness of relegation to English football’s fourth tier, said: “It was unbelievable, the best moment in my career by an absolute mile.

“Obviously after getting relegated last season we knew this season we had to bounce back. To finally do it is just an amazing feeling.”

Manager Gary Bowyer added: “We got a fantastic start and we showed a lot of guts and determination against a very good Exeter team.”