KARL Oyston says Blackpool made one of the most lucrative offers in their history to try to persuade David Vaughan to stay.
But despite putting a big-money deal on the table, it wasn’t enough to prevent the midfielder announcing he wouldn’t be playing for the Seasiders next season.
Vaughan has decided to go elsewhere, and headed off on holiday today to mull over offers from West Brom and Sunderland.
The chairman is disappointed but says he wishes the Welshman nothing but the best.
“Frankly he goes with my very best wishes and I can’t help but hope he does well elsewhere, even though I wish he’d stayed,” Oyston said.
“He has done very well for us and been a fantastic player for us while he was here and I fully understand that he sees his future in the Premier League and I don’t blame him, so good luck to David.
“I wish him the best because I think he has done things absolutely the right way.
“He has done very well for us, not been a moments trouble and just been a good, solid professional who has performed very well for us.”
Oyston and manager Ian Holloway face a busy summer as they aim to rebuild a squad which looks like being ripped apart following the Seasiders relegation from the top flight.
Charlie Adam, DJ Campbell and the out-of-contract Stephen Crainey and Matt Gilks look likely to follow Vaughan through the exit door – which means Oyston and Holloway have a huge challenge to replace those lost.
The manager has departed for a week-long holiday with his wife but has left a list of transfer targets.
Oyston will make several phonecalls while the manager is away in a bid to make some headway in the transfer market.
The Seasiders needs players in all positions, with goalkeepers a priority. With Gilks certain to go, and Paul Rachubka and Richard Kingson released, Mark Halstead is the only keeper on the club’s books.
Vaughan’s decision not to stay is a major blow, but not unexpected. The Welshman thought long and hard about his future, especially after Pool offered him big cash to stay.
But in the end it came down to the level of football – Vaughan, 28 and at his peak, wanted to stay in the top flight.
“Blackpool made me a very good offer and it was a tough decision but I just want to stay in the Premier League and test myself at the highest level,” said Vaughan.
“It was unfortunate that we couldn’t quite stay up last season and that was a big disappointment.
“My three years at Blackpool have been great and I’d really like to thank the fans and the staff. The last couple of years have been brilliant and I leave with nothing but good memories.
“If it wasn’t for Blackpool I may never have played in the Premier League, so I have a lot to thank the club and the manager for.”
POOL have confirmed they have made an enquiry about Northern Ireland duo Stuart Dallas and Jordan Owens.
The pair were called into the senior Irish squad last month and have caught the eye of several English clubs after a string of fine performances last season at Irish club Crusaders.
POOL are one of the seeded teams in the first round of the Carling Cup. The draw is announced 10am Thursday, with league fixtures 24 hours later.