"There's going to be an announcement on Monday. It's going to be Paul Ince. The deal is very close to being done."
Those were the words of Blackpool’s current caretaker boss Steve Thompson on Saturday when asked about the future management role at Bloomfield Road. Indeed Paul Ince, a football veteran with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Inter Milan, was watching on from the executive boxes at Portman Road this weekend as The Tangerines were defeated by the Tractor Boys in Suffolk.
Of course there could have been another reason for Ince’s trip east; he could simply have been watching his son play; and you begin to feel his employment is not just based on his managerial record.
At Macclesfield he did wonders. It was a club in turmoil and staring relegation out of the football league in its inevitable face. But Ince turned things around and on the last day of the 2006-07 season he guided The Silkmen to safety.
But since then his managerial career has faltered. Sure he guided MK Dons to the League Two title in his second season in management but given the financial backing and squad quality available to him not to do so would have been a massive shock. Success in the Football League Trophy however was perhaps a more inspiring element of his season; making bigger teams take notice.
He bypassed the usual transitions and went straight into the deep end with Premier League side Blackburn Rovers. He won just three games in 17 attempts and lasted just 177 days before he was sacked.
Unremarkable stints have followed in the form of a second stint with MK Dons and a short spell at Notts County and he has been out of work since April 2011.
Some may say that Blackpool are simply realising he still has the potential to succeed based on his early managerial efforts but the more cynical would perhaps say it is a ploy to help keep his son Tom at the club.
A ploy that could go one of two ways.
Sure Paul is likely to want his son at the club purely on footballing reasons as he is one of the most talented players outside the top-flight. However the Ince father-son relationship is strong and Paul will always advise his son of the best option for his future whatever that may be.
Liverpool are the team most interested in his signature and despite Paul once telling his son that leaving Anfield was his best option after a stint on-loan at Notts County caught admirers eyes he did so in the best interest of his son. If he now thinks that Tom will get the first-team football he desires at Anfield under the Brendan Rodgers regime then you can be sure he will put his sons fortunes ahead of his owns and Blackpool Football Club.
Will Paul Ince’s appointment speed up Tom Ince’s exit or slow it down?
image: © joncandy