Blackpool fans’ leader slams ‘shambles’

Riga - keeping his own counsel
Riga - keeping his own counsel
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Fans’ leader Glenn Bowley has called foul at Blackpool, describing the club’s position as “a complete and utter shambles”.

Bowley, chairman of the Blackpool Supporters Assocation, expressed his dismay that the Seasiders squad is so threadbare just five weeks before they kick-off the 2014-15 season at Nottingham Forest.

He said: “The squad is not just thin, it is almost non-existent. There is a lot of work still to do.”

Bowley’s barbed comments come amid mounting concern over Pool’s preparations for the Championship campaign, with only eight senior players on the books.

Since Pool released 17 at the end of last season, Chris Basham, Neal Bishop and Craig Cathcart have also moved on, as has Matt Gilks, leaving Pool without a goalkeeper (Chris Kettings and Mark Halstead have also found new clubs).

Blackpool made a step in the right direction with the signing of Estonian striker Sergei Zenjov on Thursday, but for some fans this was offset by revelations that League One Sheffield United were poised to swoop for highly-promising central defender Harrison McGahey.

Bowley added: “It may be that there are things going on behind the scenes but there seems to be a significant lack of progress.

“We only have eight players five weeks before the start of the season. It is a complete and utter shambles – that’s how it seems.

“There is a plan in the pipeline to take the players to Spain and pre-season is really important. But we have to hit the ground running against Nottingham Forest on August 9.”

Bowley also expressed his concern at the lack of information coming out of the club to reassure fans.

Manager Jose Riga has not spoken publicly since his appointment on June 12 and Bowley added: “There has been a lack of communication, which has been poor, particularly to those fans who have paid for season tickets.

“We now have a manager in place and hopefully the chairman (Karl Oyston) will sit down with The Gazette and tell supporters what plans the club has and will keep the fans informed.”

Bowley expressed surprise at McGahey’s planned move to Bramall Lane, saying: “There has been a lack of young players coming through the system, but he (McGahey) was one who did and was considered good enough to be given his place.

“The manager may have had his own reasons and we have to trust his judgment.”