Blackpool's squad crisis is a growing concern, writes Sky Sports News' Peter Stevenson
By Peter Stevenson
Last Updated: 16/07/14 2:46pm
Sky Sports News’ Peter Stevenson reports from Blackpool, where the Football Club have been forced to cancel their pre-season tour to Spain due to a lack of senior players.
A look at Blackpool FC's website reveals why there is growing concern at the Lancashire club's preparations for the new Sky Bet Championship season.
There are just eight player profile photos... four strikers, three defenders and one midfield player.
With just 24 days to go to kick off, Blackpool do not even have a goalkeeper under contract, amid talk of a crisis and friction between chairman Karl Oyston and Jose Riga, who was appointed manager five weeks ago.
Now the situation has forced Blackpool to cancel their planned pre-season tour to Spain on Sunday. Their team to face Penrith on Saturday is likely to include trialists and youth players to make up the numbers.
They have just one more friendly organised, against Burnley on August 2nd, then face a tough opening sequence of league fixtures against likely promotion candidates Nottingham Forest, Blackburn and Wigan.
Admittedly, it was never going to be an easy summer, after the departure of 27 players. Riga has brought in three coaching staff, but apparently even they are not yet under contract.
The lack of success in building a squad has led one fans' leader to describe Blackpool's position as an utter shambles.
Wednesday's edition of the Blackpool Gazette carries a comment piece, strongly condemning the situation as "nothing short of an unmitigated mess".
The trip to La Manga was abandoned to allow Riga to concentrate on recruitment, with a minimum of a dozen new faces still needed... and quickly.
Hard to imagine just four years ago, this was a club preparing for life in the Premier League.