Jimmy Armfield: ‘Blackpool must fight back now’

Jimmy Armfield
Jimmy Armfield
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Blackpool legend JIMMY ARMFIELD has spoken exclusively to The Gazette about the situation at relegation-threatened Blackpool Football Club.

The former England captain spoke of a ‘sad’ situation, ‘mismanagement’ of the club and a ‘winter of discontent’ at Bloomfield Road.

But he also told of the need to begin rebuliding for a swift return to The Championship.

Here, in his own words, Armfield expresses his frustration and demands instant action to get the club back on track.

“For the past six months, wherever I have been, most conversations have invariably started with the same question: “What has happened to your team?” or “What’s going on at Bloomfield Road?”

I have tried to put on a brave face but it hasn’t been easy because, like many others who live in the area,I find our current position rather sad.

Within three years we have somehow dropped into the third grade,and this season we have always been relegation favourites following a dreadful start, where the club suffered through mismanagement, and a shortage of good players, and ended up losing all of the first five matches.

It was an opening from which the team has never recovered, and it has meant a winter of discontent for the club’s supporters.

Many, like me, will have been wondering how the slide will be checked.

Joe Smith my first manager once said ‘if nothing is done, nothing will happen’ he was addressing the club chairman at the time.

So with that in mind I suggest the current season should not be allowed to just fizzle out, in fact there are a few points to prove for both players and management.

Apart from anything else there should always be pride in performance, but as much as that there is a recruiting programme for next season to consider.

I have spoken to both the chairman and the manager this week and they assured me that the pre-season programme for the next season is already in place, that being the case then the next priority should be to move on to strengthening the team- and the rebuild needs to start as soon as possible, because with a lot of ground to cover time will prove short once the season ends.

No doubt Lee Clark and his staff will already have targeted one or two players and I know he will have fewer sleepless nights if he gets them signed up early.

The aim should be to try and bounce straight back, but a warning is that Yeovil, who beat Blackpool twice last season but were then relegated, currently sit at the bottom of League One, hence my suggestion that the fight back needs to start sooner than later.”