GTF: Pool offer was ‘kick in the teeth’

Former Pool favourite Gary Taylor-Fletcher signs programmes
Former Pool favourite Gary Taylor-Fletcher signs programmes
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Gary Taylor-Fletcher has described Blackpool’s contract offer to him in the summer as a “kick in the teeth”.

The striker joined Leicester last week after a summer of uncertainty which saw him turn down two deals at Bloomfield Road.

Manager Paul Ince spoke several times about his desire to keep the 32-year-old only to see contract talks break down.

And Taylor-Fletcher told The Gazette it was never money which caused the problem.

He said: “After the last game of the season I was on my coaching course and we got a call from Karl Oyston with an offer. It was a take it or leave it offer.

“It wasn’t so much the money but the terms and lack of security. I spoke to him about the wording of the option. If he had changed it to one like I have at Leicester now, then I would have signed.

“I was concerned that in a year’s time the option wouldn’t be taken.

“The offer Blackpool made me was a 50 per cent pay cut, which I think was very harsh.

“Karl has said in the press that if you do well for the club you get rewarded. After what we did for the club, I don’t think any of the lads got the rewards they should have.

“After that phone call, I didn’t hear from Blackpool for another six weeks.

“I was reading in the papers that the deadline had passed but not once did anyone ring me. I was starting to wonder if I was wanted.

“It wasn’t until the middle of July that Paul Ince rang me. He thought Karl was dealing with it.

“I told the manager my problems with the option and he said he’d speak to Karl.

“A few days later Karl rang me back with an even lower offer. It was a bit of a kick in the teeth really. I thought if that’s all the respect they had for me then I’d rather leave.”

Taylor-Fletcher played more than 200 times for the Seasiders over six seasons, after joining the club from Huddersfield.

He played a huge part in the club’s promotion to the Premier League in 2010 and scored in the play-off final win against Cardiff at Wembley.

Ironically, his first game for his new club came against Blackpool on Saturday, when he was given a brilliant reception by supporters.

He said: “It was strange playing against Blackpool. I couldn’t have asked for a better reception, it was really humbling.

“The things said to my wife and family were unbelievable, so I can’t thank them enough.

“The fans have always been on my side at Blackpool, so I wasn’t nervous about the reception.

“My son George was wearing the (Leicester) colours and he told me he was in the wrong kit. He asked me if he should still cheer for Blackpool, so I told him he could but he had to cheer for both teams.

“It was difficult for him to understand, but I’m sure he’ll get used to the idea that I play for a new team. At first he didn’t want the Leicester kit as he thought it was Everton, but then I told him it’s daddy’s new team and he was happy.”

The striker’s exploits are part of Bloomfield Road history and include scoring against Manchester United at Old Trafford. But it’s that day in May 2010 which will always stand out.“The promotion at Wembley is the moment I’ll never forget.

“To see what it meant to everyone during the parade after the game will stick with me forever.

“I look back at what we achieved at Blackpool and wonder if there’s a legacy. Has it been built on? At the moment I look back and there isn’t one.

“They have a good squad there but you wonder what could have been if the right things were done.”