Blackpool hit by protest

  • By: Nick Miller
  • Last Updated: April 8 2014, 9:47 BST

Nick Miller looks at the woes surrounding Blackpool, Leeds and Nottingham Forest in his Sky Bet Football League column.

Karl Oyston: Under pressure from Blackpool fans
Karl Oyston: Under pressure from Blackpool fans

Last weekend, a protest was held by a section of Blackpool fans before their game against Huddersfield. Given the team had slipped towards the ugly end of the Championship table after a calamitous 17-game winless run under first Paul Ince and then Barry Ferguson, you might think they were unhappy with how the team is currently performing, but that is almost secondary for many fans on the coast at present.

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The fortunes of two of the biggest clubs in the Championship seem to have been intertwined down the years. It seems when Nottingham Forest have been a shambles, Leeds have too, and while the former have never suffered the sort of financial apocalypse of the latter, the two are once again in synch.

Leeds have only been able to pay their players half their wages because of a dispute over who is funding the club, as prospective owner Massimo Cellino awaits the results of his appeal against his failure of the fit and proper persons test.

If Cellino walks away, or is forced to walk away, the club's finances are in such a state that what comes next doesn't bear thinking about. Oh, and in recent weeks they've lost 5-1 at home to Bolton, 4-2 at home to Reading and 4-1 at Bournemouth, collecting just five points from the last nine games as their outside hopes of a playoff spot disappeared down the drain.

And at the time of writing, Forest don't have a manager, any coaches, a chief executive as well as a number of other behind the scenes staff, with youth team coach Gary Brazil basically holding the team together with sticky tape, having been handed the reins largely on the basis that he's about the only one at the City Ground who hasn't been sacked. Add to that a winless run of nine games, partly caused by injury problems that currently see up to 12 first team players unavailable.

Two huge clubs, united by shambles.

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It's been remarked upon plenty of times, but it would be remiss not to offer a word of praise for the 9,000 Wolves fans that made the trip to Milton Keynes for their game against the MK Dons on Saturday.

By way of comparison, that's more than the attendance at every other League One game at the weekend, and indeed more than a couple of games in the Championship.

And they were rewarded in appropriate fashion, with the winning goal scored by youngster Liam McAlinden, something of a symbol of how Kenny Jackett has rebuilt the club after the shambles left by the parade of managers that took them down last season.

Wolves are now ten points clear of third place Leyton Orient, and their promotion should be confirmed in the next couple of weeks. Hats off indeed to Jackett and the Wolves fans.

One of the teams that could join Wolves in promotion from League One is Rotherham, who have put together an absolutely extraordinary run to put themselves within five points of second place, and firmly in the playoff spots.

The Millers have not lost since January 1 and have dropped just eight points from the last available 35. Manager Steve Evans is, to use a considerable understatement, not an especially palatable character, but it's impossible to argue with the job he's doing at the New York Stadium.

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