News today that Blackpool, the third team to be promoted from the Championship to the Premiership last season, will join the battle to sign Manchester United winger Tom Cleverley on loan.
Tom Cleverley – two Premier clubs after him – at least
Newcastle have been interested in Cleverley for a while now, but usually no decisions will be made on loan signings until early August, so Blackpool will presumably be joining the queue of clubs lining up for the 20 year-old Basingstoke-born winger.
Tom spent last season at Watford where he played 35 times and scored 11 goals, and generally looked very impressive.
Cleverley has already indicated he wants to play Premiership football next season, and since that’s unlikely to be at his parent club, Manchester United, he certainly seems to have a couple of other choices now.
The People reported yesterday that Blackpool boss Ian Holloway is seeking talks with the Old Trafford club over the signing of loan players, and of course one thing in Blackpool’s advantage is that any loan players will likely play a lot of games for the Seasiders next season.
A big advantage Newcastle have over Blackpool, at least with the players however, is that they will be playing in front of 52,000 home crowds, whereas Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road has a capacity of only 12,555.
One of the quirks of both Newcastle United and Blackpool being promoted last season was that Newcastle topped the Championship home attendances with 43,383 average home league crowds, and Blackpool were second bottom with 8,611 just beating out bottom placed Scunthorpe United, who had 6,463.
We would expect Blackpool to attempt in some way to increase the capacity of Bloomfield Road for next season, to take advantage of the higher gate revenues with teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool (and Newcastle) visiting them.
But it would appear that Blackpool will need to make do with loan signings next season, to improve their squad and increase their chances of staying in the Premiership – which is exactly what Newcastle seem to be doing too – come to think of it.