Southend manager Phil Brown has claimed there is “no relationship” between Neil McDonald and Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston.
Brown, who brings his Shrimpers side to Bloomfield Road on Saturday, is a good friend of Pool boss McDonald, having worked with him for almost five years at Bolton.
While McDonald has always insisted the relationship with his chairman is a good one, his old pal Brown suggests otherwise.
“It’s very, very difficult for Neil McDonald at the moment,” said the former Hull and Bolton boss.
“I was on a course at St George’s Park a couple of weeks ago with Neil. He was asking questions and we were wondering which direction he was going in.
“He was asking for guidance about relationships with people above him at the club and we were wondering why.
“It’s difficult if you can’t manage up at a football club and apparently he can’t at Blackpool. He can’t do that as there isn’t a relationship with his owners.
“The Oystons have also fallen out with the supporters and that’s irresponsible.”
Brown played 44 times for Blackpool between 1994 and 1996, landing his first coaching role at Bloomfield Road under Sam Allardyce towards the end of that spell.
And ahead of his return this weekend, the 56-year-old spoke of his disappointment over developments at the club.
Brown said: “It’s sad really. When I was at Blackpool, it was Sam’s first season as a manager and my first year as a coach.
“We had a great back room staff full of enthusiasm.
“Blackpool are a football team with great history and tradition, and they have a great manager in the making.
“This is Neil McDonald’s career we are talking about. Blackpool just need some investment on the field of play.
“If they get that, then they can turn it around. It was a big club and it can be a big club again.”