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Blackpool FC cancels preseason tour amid roster shortage

Blackpool FC cancels preseason tour amid roster shortage Photo:

The English football club Blackpool FC has canceled a planned preseason trip to Spain amid a standoff between manager Jose Riga and chairman Karl Oyston over the club's transfer strategy, according to the Blackpool Gazette.

With the start of the Football League Championship season less than a month away, the club has only eight players under contract — including only one midfielder — and has watched 27 players depart since the end of last season. Blackpool have added only two players since Riga's appointment as manager five weeks ago.

The conflict is believed to stem from a perceived lack of funding, with Oyston refusing to pay players Riga desires the club to sign, according to the Gazette's report.

Oyston spoke on Monday with BBC Sport.

"There is no panic," he tells BBC Sport. "In fact, I see it as a benefit rather than a downside. It allows the manager to bring in his own team, as opposed to a manager picking up a squad that is already overloaded and he doesn't think is good enough."

Blackpool was relegated from the Premier League, England's top league, in 2010-11 after finishing 19th, with 39 points.

The club has finished no higher than fifth in three subsequent seasons in the Championship. It bottomed out in 2013-14, finishing 20th.

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