The Ghost Of Charlton Past?
On January 14th 1978 Blackpool proudly stood in eighth place in the Second Division having seen off the Addicks 5-1 in an exciting league game at Bloomfield Road. Only eight points off the promotion places after 25 games expectations were understandably high that the team was about to embark on a promotion push. So what went so horribly wrong?
A further 5 goal blast three weeks later against Blackburn Rovers was then amazingly followed by the sacking of popular manager Allan Brown by Chairman Billy Cartmell, the man seen by many as the chief instigator of the club's travails over the past three decades.
Suddenly a team that had performed so well under the management of former Seasiders favourite Brown began to struggle under the temporary command of Jimmy Meadows. From promotion hopefuls very soon Blackpool were falling down the league with frightening speed, so much so that in their last fifteen games they amassed a mere 9 points.
Having completed their fixtures on 29th April in 16th place they had the ignominy of seeing their fate determined by a sequence of results which even Mystic Meg would have difficulty conjuring up. Even the side's goal difference of -1 failed to save them as sides with -16 and -20 respectively managed to get the points they required to avoid the drop.
The result was, as we all know, relegation to the third tier of English football for the first time in the club's history. And with it undisputed proof that a team should never, ever, take its league standing for granted.