£5 Million Promotion Bonus On Table Again
You can't shut Karl Oyston up this week!
The reality is of course that The Gazette did one big interview with him that they are (rightly) stretching out several times.
Nevertheless, following talk about contracts, signings and seemingly everything else in between, Blackpool's chairman has confirmed to the paper that the club will again be offering the squad a £5 million bonus should they achieve promotion this season.
The 2009/10 squad of course shared a £5 million bonus pot (originally promised by club president Valeri Belokon, but eventually paid by the club amidst wild speculation from Eastern Europe that Mr Belokon faced some financial concerns) following their promotion to the Premier League.
However, following the Marcel Seip tribunal recently, the chairman himself has pledged to dish out any bonus rather than leaving it to the players again.
Speaking about the Seip situation, Oyston said:
'It is a relatively straightforward matter. While we were negotiating the bonus schedule for the 2009-10 season, the players asked if there could be a change to the constitution of the panel that decided any bonuses.
'The panel was previously myself, the manager and the club captain. They asked for more player influence and I rather stupidly agreed to their request so that it became three players - the club captain (Jason Euell), the PFA representative (Paul Rachubka) and one other (Stephen Crainey) - as well as myself and the manager. So effectively myself and the manager had no say in the breakdown of the bonuses.
'The players had a squad meeting after the season and voted to exclude three players, two loan players and one contracted player, from the bonus pot.
'I, at the time, thought it was probably sensible to retain a contingency just in case anyone claimed because, obviously, if all of the money was distributed the club would have to stand any claim. So we retained a contingency that those players would have been entitled to, with the intention of distributing that money to our existing players once the possibility of any legal challenge had passed.
'However, rather predictably (given that he is owed six months' wages by Plymouth), there was a challenge by Marcel Seip.
'When the decision was made by our squad to exclude three players from a share of the bonus pot, I didn't particularly disagree with the exclusion of one player. I was surprised that Seip and the other player were excluded. But when I was later told of the reasons, I absolutely accepted the players' right to make that decision.
'We went to a panel in London that two of the players attended and didn't give a particularly good account of themselves. The day was lost and Marcel received his bonus.
'But it was never a club versus Seip issue. It was a squad versus Seip matter and it was the players' money that was at stake, not the club's money.
And confirming that he would be in charge of the bonus scheme for the coming season, Karl said:
'When I do this year's bonus negotiations it will be back to the old format, which is myself, the manager and one player, and we won't allow ourselves to be dragged down the rather pointless road that we were dragged down this time.
'I intend to keep the bonus structure more or less as it was, a £5m bonus to be distributed as the players require but with the guidance of myself and the manager this time.
'I think the bonus is a good idea, even though it's so much money, because the rewards for going up are so massive.
'We tend not to pay our players to the same level as other clubs, so it is only fair that if they achieve for us, they are rewarded along the same lines as players are at other clubs.'
The real question though is whether the Seasiders will have a squad good enough to make a run at that £5 million bonus and Premier League football?