Blackpool owner Simon Sadler expresses disappointment at negativity surrounding Michael Appleton's appointment

Blackpool owner Simon Sadler has expressed his disappointment at the negative reaction to Michael Appleton’s appointment as head coach.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 17th June 2022, 12:51 pm
Updated Saturday, 18th June 2022, 7:58 am

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Liam Rosenior and Michael Duff were also considered and interviewed for the role, but Appleton is the man to take the reins.

The appointment hasn’t exactly been welcomed with open arms, with some supporters even going as far to say they won’t be buying a season ticket for the new campaign.

Addressing the perceived “negativity”, Sadler says he has been “confounded” by some of the reaction to Appleton’s appointment.

“All of the prospective head coaches were strong candidates and we spent several hours with each to get to know them better,” he wrote.

Simon Sadler has penned a lengthy statement following Michael Appleton's appointment

“After debating their individual pros and cons, we were unanimous in our decision to choose Michael Appleton.”

Sadler added: “We recognise though that Michael is not every Blackpool fan’s first choice as the next head coach.

“I think that it’s common knowledge that some of us at the club keep an eye on social media and I must confess to being disappointed at the extent of some of the negativity that I’ve read with regards to Michael’s appointment.

“Given what this club went through before I bought it, I’m confounded that some fans go as far to claim that they would consider ripping up or not buying season tickets because they are unhappy with our choice of head coach.

“Whilst I cannot guarantee outcomes, it is my responsibility as custodian of this great club of ours to ensure that the right decisions are made for the right reasons for both the club’s present and its future. I will not shirk that responsibility even if said decisions are not universally popular.”

Sadler went on to state that, contrary to reports, Blackpool’s budget is likely to increase next season, not drop.

He also outlined his ongoing commitment to the club’s infrastructure, whether it’s the new training ground or East Stand development, which combined are likely to cost in the region of £30m to £40m.

The Seasiders have had to work quickly and diligently to find their new man after Critchley’s surprise exit a couple of weeks ago.

Addressing the nature of how Critchley left the club, Sadler admits it could have been handled more “gracefully”.

“It came as a great surprise to the board and me when a couple of weeks ago Neil said that an opportunity had presented itself that he was keen to take,” Sadler said.

“The chance to work again with Steven Gerrard and to pit himself against some of the best coaches in the world in the Premier League was one that he felt that he could not pass up.

“It’s that simple, there are no other reasons, that’s why he left.”

Sadler added: I’ll miss Critch. The emotion that he showed and the connection that he had with the fans, the players and the club was heartfelt and real.

“Some matches when the atmosphere at Bloomfield Road was rocking, I’d watch him and I’d see his eyes drift away from the match and stare at the crowd in awe and wonder.

“He’d often talk to me of the gratitude that he felt toward the fans, the club and the board as he gave his all to improve this great club of ours.

“He and I have spoken recently and have both agreed that his exit could’ve been handled more gracefully, but we all know that he leaves us in much better shape than when he joined.

“I will always welcome Critch back to Bloomfield Road with open arms and will always be grateful to him for what he achieved at our club.”