English championship side Blackpool were forced to field five trialists on the pitch for their pre-season match at Penrith as only eight of their contracted players were available due to a dispute between manager and chairman Karl Oyston.
Among the eight players on the books at Bloomfield Road, only one is a defender, while the other player is a midfielder; six of them are strikers. Riga had to include five trialists and a youth player in order to field a full starting XI. One of the trialists Nathan Delfouneso, who had earlier played for Blackpool last season scored a brace to lead his team to a victory, while the other two goals came from strikers Sergei Zenjov and Bobby Grant.
This is how Blackpool’s team looked like against Penrith
The lack of squad members is due to a dispute Riga and the chairman who is unwilling to break the bank to sign three key players that Riga has been highly recommending. If things keep on going the way they are, it won’t be very long he is sacked after just a month at the helm of the club.
Blackpool were already forced to cancel their scheduled trip to Spain this week for their pre-season preparation so that the Tangerines could rather concentrate on recruiting new players for the team.
Oyston, the club chairman however, insisted that there was nothing wrong with the club.
“I see absolutely no reason why we shouldn't be able to recruit sufficient numbers and quality to be able to compete in The Championship,” he was quoted on the Daily Mail. “The main thing people want to see is players signing for us and I think once we get some signed, and everything settles down, then we'll soon forget about some of the problems.”
“We're finding it difficult to land some of the players we've been chasing. That's always the case, but unfortunately it's with a backdrop of not having many players, so it probably focuses things a little more than would normally be the case,” he added.
The chairman’s relation with the fans is already down the gutter after several broken promises, with reports of the Oyston family purchasing a mansion for £2.5 million pounds while the club lacks players to play, or even a back room for that matter.