Oyston not surprised by Chopra tweet

Blackpool's Michael Chopra
Blackpool's Michael Chopra
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Paul Ince has reacted angrily to Michael Chopra’s public criticism of training at Blackpool.

The manager demanded the strongest possible action be taken against the striker after he described the club as “a joke” on Twitter.

Chopra used two expletives in the tweet, in which he stated that he arrived for training yesterday to find that only six players were present and the fitness coach was conducting the session.

It’s understood that Ince handed the bulk of his first-team squad three days off this week to recover from their busy Christmas period, but requested that certain players reported in for extra training.

Chopra has started just three times for the Seasiders since his summer move from Cardiff and was asked to train yesterday.

Tom Barkhuizen and Anderson Banvo were among the others put through their paces by fitness coach Sean Spencer, who was brought to the club at the start of the season after meeting Ince on an FA coaching course in the summer.

After hearing of the tweet, Ince fined the player two weeks’ wages. The club released a statement which confirmed Chopra had been fined the maximum amount under the club’s code of contact and warned about his future behaviour.

The money is to be donated to the club’s Community Trust to boost its healthy lifestyle project Altogether Now - A Legacy for Blackpool.

While manager Ince was furious, chairman Karl Oyston was much more relaxed about the matter.

“It didn’t anger me in the slightest,” he said.

“If people are dim enough to do things like that, which will cost them thousands of pounds, then I’m delighted to take it.

“It will be going to such a good use. People who deserve a chance and support will benefit from this, so I’m delighted. I wish there was more bad behaviour like that.”

Chopra’s long-term future at Bloomfield Road is now in doubt and it is unclear whether he will be back with the squad when full training resumes tomorrow.

Oyston said Chopra’s actions were hardly a shock. “The player has a well documented run of poor behaviour and off-the-field problems, so it doesn’t surprise me,” he said.

“We took immediate action by fining him two weeks’ wages and the manager asked me to donate that to our community trust. It will be going to help youngsters in the town, so I’m pleased.

“The money will be going to much better use than it probably would have had it gone to its planned destination.”