by Ciaran Fletcher
Blackpool have announced that they have parted company with manager Neil McDonald following their relegation from League One.
McDonald joined the club last summer with a view of returning to the Championship following relegation, but another poor campaign saw the club relegated once more after winning only 12 games all season.
The 50-year-old was appointed Blackpool manager after leaving his role as assistant to Sam Allardyce at West Ham following his departure from Upton Park. He inherited a squad that included just six contracted players.
McDonald told the club’s official website: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Blackpool Football Club, its staff, players and fans for their support throughout what has been a very difficult season.
“Despite being extremely disappointed by our relegation from Sky Bet League One, I am pleased with the work we have done over the past 12 months to rebuild the squad and I leave having laid stronger foundations than when I first arrived. There is now a very capable squad with a core of good young players, who I’m certain will continue their development and challenge in League Two next year.”
The relegation represents a huge fall in grace for Blackpool, who were a Premier League side as recently as the 2010/11 season. The Tangerines were desperately close to returning to the top-flight the following season, losing to a last minute Ricardo Vaz Te goal against McDonald’s West Ham at Wembley in the Championship play-off final.
Blackpool will now be looking for an eighth manager in just four years. Chairman Karl Oyston added: “Myself and the other members of the board would like to place on record our thanks to Neil for his hard work during a challenging season both on and off the field.”