Clarke released as Football League talk Blackpool

Peter Clarke
Peter Clarke
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Peter Clarke is the surprise name at the top of Blackpool’s released list.

The central defender was one of the club’s better performers in a dreadful season but is understood to have been let go.

Pool are yet to announce which out-of-contract players they wish to keep. However, if they are to activate contract extension options on any more members of the current squad, they must inform the Football League by the end of today.

The club has so far exercised its option to keep Jose Cubero and Nile Ranger, though Andrea Orlandi is at the centre of a contract dispute.

The out-of-contract players were told whether they would be retained by Lee Clark, a week before his resignation at manager.

The decision over Clarke was the ex-manager’s most difficult call and his most surprising.

The centre-half played 43 times for the Seasiders last season, and although he is 33 many believe he would be more than capable of performing in League One next season.

Southport-born Clarke, who returned to the club for a second spell last summer eight years after leaving for Southend, made his final Pool appearance in the infamous home clash with his former club Huddersfield Town 12 days ago.

The Football League will meet today to decide upon the outcome of that abandoned match.

The goalless game was halted three minutes into the second half after a pitch invasion by protesting Blackpool fans.

The Terriers will hope to be awarded the three points when the Championship’s Football League committee convenes in London today for its agm.

Pool chairman Karl Oyston sits on that committee but is set to be excluded from discussions about his club.

The Seasiders are expected to forfeit the points from the Huddersfield fixture but no further action will be taken against the club today.

That is a matter for the FA discipline committee, which is investigating the circumstances surrounding the abandonment and looks likely to fine the club heavily.

The agm will force Oyston to put his search for a new manager to one side today.

Ian Holloway continues to ponder a return to the club, though Pool’s former manager is believed to be among a number of candidates.