Blackpool won't enter war of words with Cheltenham over Pell

Blackpool FC will not be getting into a war of words with Cheltenham Town by responding to the Robins' criticism of their attempts to sign midfielder Harry Pell.

Monday, 14th August 2017, 12:13 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:36 pm
Harry Pell and Brad Potts last season
Harry Pell and Brad Potts last season

Paul Baker, chairman of the League Two club, spoke out strongly over Pool’s unsuccessful moves to sign Pell as they seek to replace the departed Brad Potts.

After Cheltenham announced last week that Pell would be remaining with the Robins, Baker said: “It has been a hugely frustrating few weeks which certainly did not help our preparations for the new season. If I have to deal with Blackpool again it will be too soon.

“Following our decision to reject various frankly insulting offers for Harry Pell, they finally decide to put forward a serious offer a day or so before the start of the season.

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“It was far from great timing as it meant we could not realistically pick one of our most influential players for our opening game of the campaign.

“That did Gary (Johnson, manager) and the team preparations no favours as even on the day itself Blackpool had still not agreed personal terms, leaving the player in limbo.

“On Monday the position was finally confirmed. After a lengthy medical and hours of negotiation, Harry decided to decline their overtures and stay with Cheltenham Town.

“Needless to say I was delighted and it says so much about our club, our manager and Harry. Nevertheless, the whole situation leaves much to be desired.

“There must be a better way of dealing with player transfers which don’t involve weeks if not months of protracted offers and negotiations which result in players being unsettled.

“It is up to clubs to be honest, professional and respectful. In my opinion, Blackpool fell well short in those areas.”

While Pool will not be responding to Cheltenham’s outburst, the Robins’ public comments about their attempts to sign the 25-year-old did cause irritation at Bloomfield Road.

Asked about Pell following the opening game of the season at Bradford, manager Gary Bowyer said: “Unlike some managers who talk about players openly, we will do our business privately. If there is something to announce we will announce it but everything you read about it is pure speculation.”

Asked about the situation again last Friday, Bowyer said: “It is gone. People choose to do their business how they do their business.

“The lad you are talking about is a good player and a good person, but they made their decision and you have to respect that.”

Pell was in Cheltenham’s team for Saturday’s win over Crawley.