Blackpool

Blackpool supporters attack stadium after relegation to League One

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Five years after earning promotion to the Premier League, Blackpool will play next season in League One, the third tier of English football.

[ RELATED: Blackpool relegated to League One ]

Supporters were not happy with the relegation as they rioted outside of Blackpool’s stadium prior to their match against Reading, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

A group known as the Tangerine Knights organized the protest, in which flares, smoke bombs, fireworks and eggs were thrown at the director’s box and main entrance to the stadium.

[ RELATED: Championship focus ]

There were no reported injuries and incidents with police.

The fans were most upset with chairman Karl Oyston, as chants of “Oyston out” and “we’re relegated because of your greed” rang out from outside Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool has only won four matches out of 41 played, earning a measly 25 points in the process. Even worse, the Seasiders have a goal differential of -48.

Five years after Premier League promotion, Blackpool is relegated to League One

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May 22, 2010 — Blackpool promoted to the Premier League

May 22, 2011 — Blackpool relegated to the Championship

April 6, 2015 — Blackpool relegated to League One

[ MORE: Championship focus ]

A season of much controversy on and off the field met its nadir on Monday as the Blackpool Tangerines had their fate at the bottom of England’s second division sealed despite not playing, just five years after earning promotion to the Premier League.

The writing was on the wall well before the season, as Blackpool had to cancel its preseason tour of Spain due to having only eight players available for the trip. It’s been all downhill since Ian Holloway left the club in 2011, finishing fifth in a bid to gain re-promotion to the Premier League.

The Tangerines host Reading on Tuesday, but have an impossible 19-point climb with six matches to go after Rotherham beat Brighton 1-0 on Monday. The three points to Rotherham also put a dent in the survival hopes of Wigan Athletic and Millwall, who are 7 and 8 points shy of both Fulham and Rotherham.

Blackpool’s goal differential finishes at a whopping minus-48. Their last season in League One was in 2006-07.

PHOTO: Blackpool loanee in trouble over incendiary Snapchat message

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Over the years, professional footballers have found themselves in trouble for no shortage of silly transgressions, but on-loan Blackpool midfielder (from Norwich City) Jacob Murphy’s recent social media scandal may just take the cake, the frosting and the candles on top.

Murphy, 19, allegedly sent the below photo and caption to someone he knows, via Snapchat, a photo-messaging application that allows users to communicate with others through a series of time-limited photos and videos. Again, the following message was sent by Murphy in private, but somehow ended up leaked to the public and, as expected, sending a great deal of trouble and ire Murphy’s way.

Blackpool have launched an “investigation” into the matter, which should take all of two seconds to ask Murphy, “Did you send it,” to which he’ll say, “Yes, I did and I’ve already apologized publicly for it.”

The lesson here is “don’t leave a digital footprint of potentially controversial subject matter when conversing with your friends/peers. Murphy is a human being, just like the rest of us, with the need for honest, everyday conversation amongst his friends.

He — and everyone else around — knows that Blackpool are a bad team and likely destined for relegation. When his mother, girlfriend, best friend, etc., ask him “How’s tomorrow’s game going to go,” is he to lie to them, knowing he’s part of an undermanned, overmatched team that’s likely to get battered once again?

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer roundup: Coleman, Vidic to Man United? Carvalho to Arsenal? ]

Shame on the person who leaked this photo to a wider audience for, first, causing this embarrassment for the player and the the club, and second, necessitating an apology for something that probably half the players on all the world’s bad teams are guilty of.

The irony? Blackpool didn’t lose their last league game, drawing 1-1 with Rotherham. No word yet on whether or not Murphy is superstitious and will continue sending this particular ‘Snap’ until the side loses.

Blackpool cancels preseason tour of Spain with just eight players on roster

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Championship side Blackpool has cancelled its preseason tour of Spain to, as its official website put it, “concentrate on player recruitment.”

That might be a good idea.

Soccer requires 11 players on the pitch. This may sound trivial, until you see that Blackpool currently has just eight players on the senior team under contract.

A closer look reveals three defenders, a midfielder, and four strikers on the Blackpool payroll, and not a single goalkeeper.

Blackpool FC chairman Karl Oyston told the official website:

“The manager has taken the decision – and I agree with the decision – to cancel the pre-season tour so that our time is better served to try and get some of the player deals that we’ve been trying to get over the line for some time across the line. Our time will be far better spent preparing here than going over to Spain.”

To say the club is in a period of transition would be an understatement. After losing manager Ian Holloway in 2012 following a near-promotion season, Blackpool has seen Paul Ince, Barry Ferguson, and now Jose Riga (pictured) take charge.

They finished 20th in the Championship last season, narrowly avoiding relegation to League 1 by two points.  Glenn Bowley, chairman of the official supporter’s group, told the BBC a few days ago, “it’s complete and utter shambles.”

However, Oyston doesn’t see it that way. “There is no panic,” he told BBC Sport. “In fact, I see it as a benefit rather than a downside. It allows the manager to bring in his own team, as opposed to a manager picking up a squad that is already overloaded and he doesn’t think is good enough.”

Sure, whatever you say Karl.

Blackpool was meant to take on Spanish clubs Granada and Cartegana in friendlies during their now-cancelled tour.

Instead, it appears Oyston’s son Sam is shooting pigeons inside the ground (the tweet was later deleted) – a great use of time with such a fine state of club affairs on their hands.

The Tangerines have until August 9th – less than a month – to put together a squad, as they open their league season against Nottingham Forest on that date.

Tom Ince moves to Hull, with tribunal potentially deciding fee

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Since the English season ended in May, Tom Ince had been linked with a move to one of his father’s teams, with Inter Milan reportedly interested in bringing the 22-year-old midfielder to Italy. Today, however, Ince committed to staying in the Premier League, signing a two-year deal that will take him from Blackpool to FA Cup finalists Hull City.

Ince, who had been with the Tangerines for the last three seasons, spent the second half of the 2013-14 campaign on loan at Crystal Palace, where he made eight league appearances as the Eagles fought off relegation from the Premier League.

With his move to Hull, Ince will be joining the fifth club in his young professional career, having spent time with Liverpool and Notts County before joining Blackpool in the summer of 2011.

Now Ince secures a permanent move back into the top-flight, with the relationship Hull manager and former Manchester United star Steve Bruce had with Ince’s father Paul part of the process that put the midfielder in black and orange. From Sky Sports News, via the Press Association and The Guardian:

“I’ve known Steve Bruce on a personal and professional level for quite some years, being in a former team with my old man.

“I also know a lot of the players so it felt like home to me. I didn’t feel like a stranger walking into the dressing room, into the ground …

“To be given an opportunity to play again in the Premier League, it’s a fantastic opportunity for me and one that I’m relishing.”

Over two-and-a-half seasons with Blackpool, Ince scored 33 goals in 113 appearances while being named the Football League Young Player of the Year in 2013. During that time, Ince has also made 14 appearances for England’s U-21 national team, though he’s yet to earn a full senior cap.

With a opportunity to win regular time in the Premier League, Ince’s chances of breaking into Roy Hodgson’s team could improve. In fact, a 5-3-2 formation with Ince playing above Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone, behind Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic, doesn’t look half bad.  If Ince can build on his strong performances in the Championship, the signing could prove a good fit for both player and club.

How much Hull has to pay to make that happen, however, remains to be seen. Though Ince was out of contract with the Tangerines, his young age means the Tigers will still have to send money to Blackpool. In theory, this compensates Blackpool for investing in Ince’s development, even though in this case, a good deal of that development happened in the Liverpool academy.

Right now, the clubs remain at an impasse, meaning an independent tribunal may have to set the fee. When Daniel Sturridge went through a similar process while moving from Manchester City to Chelsea in 2010, an independent tribunal awarded the Citizens £6.5 million: £3.5 million in initial fees; another £3 million in appearance bonuses.

While Ince is unlikely to draw that type of evaluation, he’ll still be subjected to the same process. If Hull and Blackpool can’t come to an agreement on compensation, an independent panel will decide what the Seasiders get from their investment in Ince.