Will Blackpool be able to field a full team on the first day of the season?

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With just eight players at the club, Blackpool are facing a battle to be able to field eleven players for the first game.

Now the World Cup is over, football fans are looking forward to the start of the domestic season, and pre-season friendlies are underway.

However one team's fans are probably dreading the start of the season due to the calamitous events over the summer. Blackpool finally appointed former Charlton Athletic manager Jose Riga as Paul Ince's successor five months after the former Manchester United player was sacked.

Riga has only just been able to finalise his backroom staff a month after his appointment and there has been just the solitary signing. Striker Sergei Zenjov joined Blackpool on a free transfer after leaving Karpaty Lviv. He has now boosted the Blackpool squad to a total of eight players.

With last year's squad heavily made up of loan players, Blackpool are left with a handful of players with other's choosing to leave after their contracts expired. Matt Gilks was offered a new deal by text, and instead chose to join Lancashire rivals Burnley.

Tom Ince joined Hull City for a paltry compensation fee considering his potential, and now Blackpool are in pre-season with just eight players. One would think these players aren't impressed with the situation and could indeed be asking their agent to try and find them another club.

As things stand youth players at the club must be chomping at the bit, because they currently stand a great chance of featuring in the opening game of the season against Nottingham Forest. Even still with just eight first-team players, to make up an 18 man squad with 10 youth team players would be a bit of a stretch.

Of the eight players four are strikers; as well as Zenjov there is Steven Davies, Bobby Grant, and Thomas Barkhuizen. Defenders Gary MacKenzie, Tony McMahon, Chares Dunne, and midfielder David Perkins make up the rest of the squad. A goalkeeper must be of priority right now but also around 15 other players.

Jose Riga will have his work cut out to identify the targets, bring them in, then train them up to full fitness and allow the team to gel. The new players will most probably have to be free transfers or loans as Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston prefers to keep his money in his back pocket.

Their Premier League campaign in 2010-2011 might as well have not happened as there has been no legacy left from it. No players remain from that season apart from Barkhuizen but he didn't actually make a top flight appearance. Ian Holloway has long gone, and another shot at promotion seems impossible now.

Given the tremendous amount of money received by clubs in the Premier League, (around £60 million when Blackpool featured) it is incredible that barely any of that has been reinvested in the club. Add to that the parachute payments, and it is unbelievable to see Blackpool in this position. Save the redevelopment of Bloomfield Road being completed, Oyston has yet to reach into his pocket and fund a major transfer for the club since their relegation.

Oyston clearly believes they can challenge in the Championship with a squad made up of free transfers and loan players due to the fact they achieved greatness with Holloway using the same method. Due to the strength of the Championship these days that is not possible.

The Tangerines are now heavy favourites for relegation to League One, and Blackpool fans must be wondering how bad can it get before Oyston takes some action. Most would want that action to be him leaving the club altogether.

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