Blackpool FC today confirmed a massive summer clear-out by announcing that 17 members of the past season’s senior squad will not be offered new contracts.
Pool were entitled to extend the existing deals of nine out-of-contract players by a further 12 months, but striker Tom Barkhuizen is the only one of the nine to have his extension option activated.
The list of 17 players to be released includes former stand-in manager Barry Ferguson, who had already confirmed he would not be returning to Bloomfield Road.
The other 16 are Louis Almond, Anderson Banvo, Kirk Broadfoot, Jake Caprice, James Caton, Michael Chopra, Adam Dodd, Rob Earnshaw, Nathan Eccleston, Elliot Grandin, Mark Halstead, Faris Haroun, Chris Kettings, Liam Tomsett, Nathan Tyson and Tony Warner.
Among those players completely out of contract, Pool have expressed the wish to negotiate new deals with Chris Basham, Neal Bishop, Craig Cathcart, Matt Gilks, Angel Martinez, Tony McMahon and Isaiah Osbourne.
Pool also wish to retain the services of Ricardo Fuller but have not activated his 12-month option – the club wants to discuss a new deal with the striker (see below).
A new contract offer has been made to Thomas Ince, though the winger has almost certainly played his last game for Pool.
The contract offer, however, ensures that Pool will receive a compensation fee from any club Ince signs for as he is under 23.
Stephen Dobbie, David Goodwillie, Andy Halliday, Andy Keogh and Jack Robinson, who all ended the season on loan at Blackpool, have returned to their parent clubs.
Pool have six senior players signed up for next season: Barkhuizen, Stephen Davies, Bobby Grant, Gary MacKenzie, David Perkins and defender Charles Dunne, who signed for Pool last August but was loaned back to Wycombe for the season.
The departures of Halstead, Kettings and Warner lave Pool without a single goalkeeper on their books unless Gilks resigns.
Speaking in today’s Gazette, striker Fuller said he would like to stay if “everything is put right”.
The 34-year-old told The Gazette: “If everything is right, I’d definitely stay.
“But everything has to be right – the training ground, training kit and all the off the field problems. “We need all these things sorting as a team.
“What I was on, I think I gave way more – but it’s not just about the money, everything has to be right.”
Full interview in today’s Gazette.