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Blackpool start work on 'disrespectful' pitch

Championship strugglers Blackpool have begun trying to rectify the desperate state of their pitch.

The Lancashire outfit have been criticised by players, managers and fans from other clubs who have had to play on the visibly poor surface.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka said the state of the pitch was disrespectful to the other clubs.

Blackpool have been lambasted for their pitch. Credit: PA

Remedial pitch work is underway to improve the Bloomfield Road playing surface.

The club recently consulted the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) and arranged for the organisation to survey the current condition of the pitch.

After discussions between Blackpool FC ground staff and the IOG, a process of remedial work - to include verti-draining and reseeding - will take place prior to the club's next home fixture against Wigan Athletic on Saturday 28 February.

The current pitch will then be completely ripped up in the off-season, ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.

– Blackpool statement

Karanka: Blackpool lack respect for fans

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has hit out at Blackpool for their state of their Bloomfield Road pitch.

The Basque saw his side win 2-1 at Blackpool on Tuesday night, but was highly critical of the playing surface, blaming it for two injuries.

Aitor Karanka was not happy. Credit: PA

“It’s unbelievable, the pitch wasn't good enough and it’s a lack of respect for everyone who pays to come,” Karanka explained.

“It’s a lack of respect to the Middlesbrough fans who travelled, to those others who travel here, and more so to the home fans who come here regularly to watch football and want to be entertained.

“I said I was concerned with injuries and there were two, Dani Ayala and one of their players. They all have problems with their backs or legs.

“I can’t understand why a pitch like this is allowed in the Championship.”

Blackpool's pitch is shocking. Credit: PA

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Blackpool owners suing fans forum for £150,000

Blackpool's owners, the Oyston family, are seeking £150,000 in damages from a club fans forum after launching a libel case against the website.

The papers were served last week in relation to six derogatory comments on the Back Henry Street forum.

Owen Oyston and his son Karl are not currently popular at Bloomfield Road. Credit: PA

A statement on the forum read: “To clear up any rumours, on Thursday 5 February 2015, Back Henry Street was served papers from the court, relating to the Oystons’ and Blackpool Football Club’s intent to seek damages for six allegedly defamatory comments made on the site in 2014, limited collectively at £150,000.

“For obvious reasons, we can not go into any more detail at this time. Thank you for your continued support.”

The forum are looking for help to fight the legal case, they said: "A message board is perhaps the greatest bastion of free speech and that is a right that can never be threatened. It is not down to just one person to fight the Oystons, it is our collective duty.”

Blackpool closing on players 51 and 52 of the season

Andy Johnson has been back at Crystal Palace on a short-term deal. Credit: PA

Blackpool are looking to tie up a few deals for players on deadline day, which would means they have registered more than 50 this season.

Former Crystal Palace striker Andy Johnson is reportedly heading to Bloomfield Road, where he will be joined by Khaleem Hyland, who will be players 51 and 52 registered by the club since the start of the campaign.

Blackpool try to end Lewis loan to avoid triggering clause

Joe Lewis has impressed at Blackpool. Credit: PA

Blackpool want to terminate the loan for first-choice goalkeeper Joe Lewis to avoid triggering a clause that means they will have to sign him permanently.

Lewis, who is currently on loan from Cardiff City, has been one of the Championship's bottom club's better performers this season, but was left out for the weekend's 7-2 defeat to Watford, and Blackpool have since asked the Welsh club to terminate the loan, report the Blackpool Gazette.

It is thought Blackpool will be obliged to sign the former Peterborough man for £40,000 if he plays 40 matches.

After being on the bench on Saturday, Lewis has not trained with the club, due to the limbo the current situation has left him in.

Clark embarrassed by 7-2 Blackpool defeat

Lee Clark says he was embarrassed to see his Blackpool lose 7-2 at Watford on Saturday.

The Championship's bottom club were leading by two goals at half-time, but succumbed to another desperate defeat.

Lee Clark is used to defeats. Credit: PA

"At ten to four it was looking fantastic. At ten to five it was embarrassing," Clark said. "We’re deeply embarrassed by that second-half. To concede seven goals in any game, never mind a half, is very disappointing and frustrating.

"You just can’t play like we did in the second-half, at any level. We’ll take all the flack that is going to come our way in the next few days, and rightly so."

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Blackpool concede three in nine minutes

...and now it's four.

Oyston asked to explain calling Blackpool fan a 'retard'

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston has been asked by the Football Association to provide his observations about insulting text messages he sent to a supporter.

Oyston has been urged to resign by the club's president Valeri Belokon after he called a supporter a "retard".

He engaged in a series of foul-mouthed text messages with Blackpool supporter Stephen Smith and Oyston also told him to "enjoy the rest of your special needs day out".

Karl Oyston is not well liked by Blackpool fans. Credit: PA

An FA statement said: "Having only recently come into possession of all the relevant material, the FA has sought the observations of Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston in relation to text messages he is alleged to have sent to a third party. Mr Oyston has until Thursday 15 January 2015 to respond."

In a statement issued through the club in December, Oyston apologised and said he was "challenging some of the abuse, harassment and threats" he had received after his mobile phone number was made public on a website.

Police probe death of four-week-old baby boy

Police have launched an investigation into the death of a four-week-old baby boy in Blackpool.

The child was pronounced dead at Blackpool Victoria Hospital after being taken by ambulance from a house at around midday on Boxing Day.

Two people were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and child neglect, Lancashire Police said.

The pair, a 33-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman, have been bailed until June.

Police are treating the death as "unexplained" - a post-mortem examination is due to take place tomorrow.

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