Blackpool hierarchy questioning future of club

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Caretaker manager Barry Ferguson still in the dark about his future, as Blackpool secure final day Championship survival.

A torrid season has seen Blackpool suffer on-and-off pitch distress. An impressive start under former England midfielder Paul Ince saw the the Tangerines occupy the play-off places in the opening weeks. Following a 2-1 victory over Bournemouth, Ince was given a five-match stadium ban for 'violently shoving' a match official in an expletive-laden tirade. By mid-January Ince had left Bloomfield Road, as a run of dismal form had left Blackpool nearing the relegation places.

Club captain Barry Ferguson was instilled as caretaker player-manager following Ince's reign, and, although a mixed run of results meant trouble was never far from the club, they entered the final day of the season in 19th place. A 3-0 home defeat to Charlton Athletic would have been disastrous, were it not for the loss suffered by Doncaster Rovers, who finished two points below Blackpool and were relegated to League One.

As Ferguson - now 36 - is entering the final stage of his career, he admitted that he does not know what his future holds.

"I'm getting an operation soon on my ankle and I don't know whether I am going to play on," the Scot told reporters after the game.

"It probably won't be at Blackpool if I'm going to play on, but I'll make that decision mid-June.

"There's no meetings planned with the chairman. We just wanted to get through the game, get to the end of the season and keep Blackpool in the Championship."

The current state of affairs at the club leaves a lot to be desired, with on- and off-field matters needing to be addressed, although Ferguson highlighted the potential of the club.

"Whoever comes in and takes the job, it's a really good club. There's a lot of good things about it and there's a few bad things. If you can get them sorted then you've got every chance.

"There's only four contracted players, whoever gets the job has got the chance to come in and build their own squad and their own team. That's something that me as a young manager would love to do and most managers in Britain would love to do.

"I want to be a manager, I've decided that. It's not scared me wanting to be a manager. I've loved it. I'm just thankful for Blackpool giving me the chance. Whether it's here whether it's wherever it might be, you'll see."

This endorsement of the club, as well as his role in the impressive survival, may be enough to get his name on the short-list of potential full-time managers come July. With the state of the club as it is, and the knowledge that hiring a respected manager may be impossible, it would probably be best for the Blackpool officials to offer Ferguson the chance to build his career in tandem with the rebuilding of their club.

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