Riga still in charge but problems remain

Blackpool FC manager Jose Riga in happier times
Blackpool FC manager Jose Riga in happier times
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Jose Riga remains Blackpool manager after crunch talks with Karl Oyston yesterday, but the crisis is far from resolved.

The pair sat down for a three-hour face-to-face showdown yesterday in an attempt to end the stand-off over a lack of transfer movement with Pool having just eight players contracted to the club.

The Gazette understand Riga issued Oyston with a new list of transfer targets and the pair agreed to attempt to solve the problems which almost led to a sensational departure for the manager just five weeks after being appointed.

It now remains to be seen whether or not Riga takes charge of tomorrow’s pre-season friendly against Penrith FC.

The saga casts a huge doubt over Pool’s future, with Riga yet to break his month-long media silence to explain his side of the story.

Fans have reacted angrily to the lack of progress and communication piling yet more pressure on Oyston.

And Glenn Bowley, chairman of Blackpool’s Supporters Association, said it’s vital the pair resolve their differences.

“It would be ridiculous to be in a situation without a manager five weeks after he was appointed and three weeks before the start of the season,” said Bowley.

“The fans believe in Jose and are disappointed he hasn’t had the chance to show us what he can do.

“It’s crucial the manager and the chairman work together, it’s the only way.”

Riga and Oyston have clashed over the manager’s insistence on signing four what he describes as ‘spine’ players.

It’s understood the manager was refusing to do any other business until his key players are in place.

While it’s unknown who the four are, they are all believed to be overseas stars with one having played in the recent World Cup.

Bowley added: “The situation is shambolic at the moment and the fans are being let down by both the chairman and the manager, for different reasons.

“The support Blackpool fans are giving Jose at the moment shows how much we all think of him, it would be nice of him to show us respect by communicating with us.

“We are desperate to know what his plans are and his thoughts.

“As for Karl, he’s the decision maker. He once said he’s to blame for the company and it’s success and failure.

“If that’s the case and this is a company then many of the shareholders and customers, would say he’s not fit for purpose.

“It would be difficult for us to disagree with that at the moment.

“We will be demanding talks with him about the situation in the coming days.”

Pool face Penrith FC tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) but it’s as yet unknown what sort of squad they’ll field. Gary MacKenzie, Steve Davies and Bobby Grant all look likely to miss out through injury.