The saying goes that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Well; in footballing terms, Blackpool Football Club have so many monkeys that they could open up their own Bloomfield Road zoo!
To say that the Tangerines’ 2015/16 season was a disaster is probably the biggest understatement of the year.
Relegation was inevitable, even before Neil McDonald was named the club’s fifth manager in just three years.
Blackpool’s side was full of young players, most of whom had played little first-team football before. Using young players has its positives, but having the majority of your squad filled with them is footballing suicide.
Blood young players into a squad which is full of experience and capable of dealing with League One football – don’t just throw them in at the deep end and let them sink.
Chairman Karl Oyston refused to spend the funds needed to get this club back into the Championship at the first time of asking. Look at Wigan Athletic; they came down with Pool last season, but they didn’t mess around and made some astute signings to eventually lift the League One title.
In the aftermath of Pool’s recent relegation, a statement was issued on the club’s website and Owen Oyston broke his two-year silence to speak to BBC Radio Lancashire and claim how he’s hated the past 18 months “more than any fan”.
Well I’m sorry Owen; but the fans heard all this before, through press releases and empty promises, claiming to be such big fans of this club.
But if the Oyston’s really cared about the club, they would do the right thing and either sell up or replace the chairman. It is glaringly obvious that the job Karl has done over the last 18 months has been nothing short of calamitous.
At any other club in the land, manager McDonald would have been sacked months ago. The job he has done is appalling; his treatment of the media and fans, plus the negative tactics.
After the previous campaign, I honestly didn’t believe there could be a manager out there who was more incapable and deluded than Lee Clark. But in comparison, McDonald has made Clark look like Sir Alex Ferguson.
What disappoints any football fan the most is watching their team lose without showing any fight or spirit. Deep down, no Blackpool fans really expected this side to stay up. They had some good results, but these runs of form never lasted – four or five wins in a row would be followed up by a losing streak of six.
Before Sunday’s embarrassing capitulation at Peterborough United, I was at Bloomfield Road as the Under-11 football team I coach was taking part in a five-a-side tournament there. Outside the ground was the first-team coach on its way to Peterborough.
Some players were boarding it, stopping to give the kids high fives and posing for pictures, but you could’ve been forgiven for thinking these players were already safe and had nothing to play for.
Their attitudes stank; walking round with this arrogant swagger thinking they are top Premier League players.
This wasn’t a relaxed atmosphere because they were so confident of going to Peterborough and doing a job, this was more of ‘I know we’ll lose and there’s nothing to play for’ attitude.
As news of the result filtered through, my initial reaction of the 5-1 defeat was to laugh. Seeing some the Pool players the day before, I knew they were going to get pummelled, so it was no surprise to see them surrender in such a way.
Relegation to League Two has not upset me in the slightest. The passion I once had for my hometown club has long gone, and it will not be returning anytime soon.
I’ll leave you with a very poignant quote taken from the Blackpool Gazette’s club writer Will Watt, who has done a sterling job over the past two seasons under the most absurd of circumstances.
Writing on the club’s consecutive relegations he said: “I apologise to Simon Grayson, Ian Holloway, Charlie Adam, Wes Hoolahan, David Vaughan, Ian Evatt, Keith Southern, Brett Ormerod, Gary Taylor-Fletcher and the rest – your efforts have been totally thrown away. It’s like the last 12 years never happened.”