Paul Ince

WATCH: Blackpool coach sent off after hitting own player in face

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There are a lot of ways to be tossed out of a match, even for a coach; Disrespectful talk, physical gesticulation and headbutting players have all earned coaches trips to the stands.

Then there’s striking your own player.

That’s what happened in Blackpool’s bizarre 1-0 loss to Burnley this weekend, which ended with the Seasiders in the drop zone as part of a colossal second-half collapse (and also featured the tossing of dozens of tennis balls and tangerines onto the field by protesting fans).

Since the season began, the club has fired Paul Ince, sent Ince’s son packing to Crystal Palace and has basically degenerated into a shell of itself. And their chairman, Karl Oyston, has taken the blame even before dozens of citrus fruits and tennis balls hit the field in protest on Friday.

So here comes assistant coach Bob Malcolm who, after talking with a referee, decides to take a swing at one of his players, Stephen Dobbie, who is preparing to sub onto the pitch. The reports say Malcolm was angry with Dobbie for taking too long to warm-up for his substitution.

Who Ate All The Pies has the footage, and we’ll pass along this not-so-well executed Vine that features a Hello Kitty bag under the TV.

I barely care what the player said, or how hard the season has been: Malcolm has to be fired. With so few matches left to save their Championship status, the Seasiders don’t need those those two guys in the same building. On loan from Crystal Palace, Dobbie’s well-traveled and perhaps that’s for good reason. But you don’t hit a player.

Blackpool plays Brighton on Monday.

Report: Tom Ince turned down Liverpool interest

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Tom Ince’s name has hit the Premier League transfer headlines more often than the majority of players in the history of the Championship. It’s the sort of thing that happens when you’re the son of English soccer royalty and score 25 goals in the past 1.5 seasons for Blackpool.

But those accolades aren’t enough to return him to where he played as a youth, as father and former England captain Paul Ince says his son wasn’t ready for the bright lights of Anfield and turned down Liverpool in January’s transfer window for a loan move to Crystal Palace.

Liverpool were in, but I don’t think Thomas is ready to go to Liverpool yet,” said Paul Ince. “Brendan [Rodgers] has done very well there and he does play the kids but for his progression as a footballer it needed to be a Stoke, a Swansea, a Palace or a Hull at this point.

“Maybe in two or three years’ time that might be a move for him.”

Tom Ince chose Palace for the rest of the season despite joining Liverpool as a youth player in 2008 and making a League Cup appearance in 2010-11 before moving to Blackpool full-time in 2011.

His Palace deal is a loan move but effectively ends his time at Blackpool barring a miracle, and he’s saying all the right things about Tony Pulis and company.

The newly-minted 22-year-old is out of contract this summer and the Eagles pipping of Swansea and Cardiff amongst others means they have frontrunner’s footing for his full-time services, but if we’ve learned anything from the Tom Ince transfer saga… it’s that it’s far from over.

Report: Paul Ince sacked by Blackpool; What’s it mean for Tom Ince’s transfer talk?

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Well this won’t help the Tom Ince transfer rumors…

Sky Sports has Tweeted that Paul Ince has been sacked by Blackpool, with Barry Ferguson set to step into the manager’s seat.

Paul Ince has been in charge of the Tangerines since Feb. 2013, but the club has lost nine of their last 10 matches. That lead to crisis talks with chairman Karl Oyston yesterday, but the emerging declarations of safety for Ince are apparently for naught.

What will this mean for his son, Tom Ince? The England Under-21 player has long been one of the nation’s most talked-about transfer options, and his contract runs out this summer. It’s said that part of the consternation for his dad was whispers of a coming transfer to AS Monaco, which would theoretically net them less money than a domestic deal.

In any event, expect his name to be bandied about more than usual. In a business sense, the sacking of dad may make little difference on the dollars and cents of son’s move, though life seems tumultuous at best for the youngster. And watch out for Blackpool’s fortunes. They’ve dropped to 14th in the Championship.

Ugly scenes as Preston steward trampled by horse. The FA must act now


Last night in the first round of the Capital One Cup local rivals Preston and Blackpool battled it out, literally, at Deepdale.

The atmosphere was bubbling throughout the contest and when Preston’s Tom Clarke scored a late winner, pandemonium broke loose.

League One side Preston celebrated the cup win against Championship team Blackpool like they’d won the competition. There’s nothing wrong with that, that’s what it’s all about. Passion, glory, rivalry.

But at the final whistle, things got ugly very quickly.

Hundreds of Preston fans streamed onto the pitch to taunt Blackpool’s 4,000 traveling supporters congregated at one end of the stadium. Then the police tried to intervene as more of the 17,000 plus fans tried to get onto the field of play.

That’s when one unlucky safety steward found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. A fan he was trying to move off the pitch pushed him and he fell. The steward was then trampled on by a huge police horse and was hospitalized with shoulder and chest injuries.

While all this was going on, players of both Blackpool and Preston were trying desperately to get back to the the tunnel and the locker rooms.

Blackpool’s manager, former Liverpool, Manchester United, Inter Milan and England midfielder Paul Ince, was not happy at all.

It’s an absolute joke. Who knows what could happen? It’s going to take someone to get stabbed or something else to happen before we’re going to listen. I wonder if there are enough stewards there. You see enough situations in football where fans are hitting a player. We sit down at these management meetings and talk about these respect campaigns, but what about getting enough stewards to control people? Who are the stewards anyway? Are they Preston fans? If they are they shouldn’t be stewards. They just let people run on the pitch. It’s not just Preston – it’s football in general. We need to knuckle down because you can’t have fans running on the pitch. I don’t care whether they win, lose or draw.

Ince has got a point, the man is clearly talking sense. In the American sporting arena we often see fans of college basketball rush the court if their team has completed a huge upset win.

But in English soccer this has become a huge problem over the past few years. In a Yorkshire derby last season, a Leeds United fan ran on the pitch and punched Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland in the face. And plenty more instances like this happen in the lower leagues, week in, week out.

source: Getty ImagesLast weekend fans of beleaguered club Coventry City walked on the pitch and headed to the bench, protesting about the clubs perilous financial situation. The list goes on and on.

Will the soccer authorities do something about it before it’s too late? At many grounds fans sit extremely close to all the action, and with no safety fences or real obstacles to get onto the pitch, anyone can do it. This is no an indictment on English society, but there’s a definite knife culture within the country. What if one individual takes it upon themselves, like Ince said, to stab or harm a player? There’s no protection for that.

I’m not quite sure what the answer to this is. More policing is probably the best method against these kinds of outbreaks. You don’t want to take anything away from the experience, passion and excitement at soccer grounds. But the players must be safe.

Fans running onto the pitch, in a jovial mood or not, has to stop. Now.

Cardiff City agrees to $12.3 million fee for Blackpool’s Tom Ince

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Cardiff City may have landed their first major target of the summer transfer window, agreeing to a transfer fee for Blackpool winger Tom Ince.

Ince, who racked up 18 goals and 14 assists in this season’s Championship, had been pegged with a move to the Premier League after Blackpool failed to achieve promotion.

Liverpool, Tottenham and Swansea were believed to be Ince’s favored destinations but things came to a halt when Blackpool manager (and Tom’s father), Paul Ince, hinted that his son’s transfer should command a fee in the range of £15-25 million ($23.1-$38.4m). The soundbite was a turnoff to the aforementioned suitors, who dropped their interest and decided to focus their sights on other targets.

Despite the fee claims, however, Cardiff manager Malky Mackay maintained his admiration for the player and it is now being reported that the club’s Malaysian billionaire chairman, Vincent Tan, has shelled out £8 million ($12.3m) for the winger. Ince’s move to Cardiff City Stadium will be finalized after the player pens a deal for personal terms and successfully passes a medical.

If the deal goes through, Liverpool – who tried to re-sign the player this past January but were thwarted after “heated” negotiations – are set to receive £2.8 million ($4.3m) by virtue of a 35 % sell-on clause for their former academy player.

Ince’s move to South Wales will see the England U-21 international challenge Craig Bellamy and Craig Noone for a starting spot on the Bluebirds’ wing. Ince’s deal also is likely to squash the club’s rumored interest in out-of-favor Chelsea winger Florent Malouda, Fenerbahce’s Dirk Kuyt and Liverpool’s Oussama Assaidi.