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Dublin: 5°C Saturday 10 April 2021

Five years since they were in the Premier League, Blackpool are now a League Two club

The Seasiders are captained by Corkman Colin Doyle.

BLACKPOOL’S RAPID DESCENT down the English football ladder continued today when a heavy defeat to Peterborough United confirmed their relegation to League Two.

Peterborough United v Blackpool - Sky Bet League One - ABAX Stadium Colin Doyle, from Cork, leading Blackpool out for today's game against Peterborough United. Source: Paul Harding

Despite taking the lead in the 16th minute at the ABAX Stadium, the Seasiders suffered a 5-1 loss which condemned them to a 22nd-place finish on the final day of action in League One.

It marked a third relegation in just six seasons for Blackpool, who only dropped out of the Premier League in 2011 after a final-day defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

However, the club has experienced a drastic change in fortunes ever since, with many supporters pinning the blame on owner Owen Oyston and — his son — chairman Karl Oyston for what they perceive to be mis-management of affairs at Bloomfield Road.

“I’ve been to most of the home games this season, I have a season ticket, but I won’t be renewing it. I’ve been a Blackpool fan since ’79, I’ve been going a long time, through good times and bad times,” Blackpool fan Andy Walton told The Blackpool Gazette following today’s relegation.

“From the Premiership season to this, it’s not good enough and it’s all down to one family — the Oyston family. There’s no singing anymore, there’s no fans there, they are simply just killing off the club.”

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Blackpool - Anfield Blackpool defeated Liverpool twice during their season in the Premier League in 2010-11. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Regardless of the role the owners may have played in Blackpool’s demise, manager Neil McDonald was keen to point out after today’s game that neither he nor his players should be exempt from criticism in the aftermath of this latest setback.

“They’ve embarrassed themselves with their second-half performance; they’ve embarrassed me and the football club,” McDonald said. “I don’t think the club has been shown in a good light by anybody — and I mean anybody. Everybody’s to blame, especially me and the players.”

Corkman Colin Doyle, capped by Steve Staunton for the Republic of Ireland back in 2007, joined Blackpool last summer and has worn the captain’s armband throughout the season.

The 30-year-old goalkeeper said: “We’ve got to try and stick together somehow, come back next season and give everything. That’s back-to-back relegations now, which no one wants. You don’t want it as a player either. We just have to see what happens in the summer, get a good pre-season under the belt and go from there.”

Source: Official Blackpool FC/YouTube

Nick Miller, who was at today’s game in Peterborough for The Guardian, summed up the state of play for Blackpool as they prepare for life in the bottom tier of the English Football League.

“Last season they were relegated from the Championship by 20 points,” Miller wrote. “This season they dropped by four. In Blackpool’s world that almost counts as progress.”

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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