HUGE drops in ticket prices will not mean a cut in Paul Ince’s player budget, says Karl Oyston.
The Seasiders announced they were slashing the cost of season tickets for next season by close to 50 per cent, as a reward to supporters after a terrible season.
The decision has been welcomed by fans, though it sparked fears the gesture will result in reduced investment on the football side. But Blackpool’s chairman has promised this isn’t the case.
Oyston said: “The wage bill will be maintained to a similar level as the last couple of years.
“It’s been higher than we’ve ever had, bar the season in the Premier League. But it’s not vastly lower, in percentage terms, now than it was during our season in the Premier League.”
Pool have 36 players out of contract in the summer, although many of those have a clause in their contract allowing the club to keep them for a further 12 months.
It means manager Ince has a big job on his hands to rebuild the squad, but Oyston pledged to do everything he can to help.
However, he wants to see players signed who will make a difference to the first team.
“It’s about getting value for money and not signing passengers,” said the chairman.
“We want people here who will make a difference to our squad and who will play.
“We’ve had players here from time to time who you have very high hopes of, who contribute very little, if anything.
“No manager gets every decision right, and no club get every contract right.”
Ince and his staff have once again been out at games this week, eyeing up potential future targets.
Oyston thinks the approach of doing homework on players is a vital part of the process.
He said: “We are very lucky that Paul and his staff are going out and looking at players now.
“They are doing much more due diligence than we’ve perhaps had than in other spells of my time here.
“At least decisions now are being backed by sound hard work and investigation.
“But hopefully we get more right than wrong.
“It’s a percentage game, though and there are always deals which don’t work out, for a number of reasons.
“Other times players don’t do well elsewhere and perform here.”
It’s been a week of positivity at Bloomfield Road, and this continued yesterday with news of the plans for work on the pitch.
The playing surface has been nothing short of shocking this year, but Oyston says they are going to do everything they can to sort it.
“All things are in place now, I had a lengthy meeting with the grounds man to make sure he has the resources, machinery, staff and equipment he needs to get a first class playing surface.
“We also want to deal with any issues that caused the very poor playing surface this season.
“Things are in place and barring disaster we will have a good pitch in place next season.
“There is no point doing anything now, we looked at re-turfing and it would have been a waste of time and money and it wouldn’t have improved things, it would have to have been stripped off in the summer in any event.
“We will do all we can to make sure it is as good as we can make it between now and the end of the season.
“The primary objective is to strip the pitch at the end of the season and take the whole top two or three inches off and relay it doing a first class job on it.”