Blackpool’s hunt for a successor to Simon Grayson has taken a fresh twist today, with a fellow League One boss seemingly moving into pole position.
It had seemed for a while that Nathan Jones was going to find a quick route back into football, but the Sack Race suggests that current Rochdale boss Brian Barry-Murphy is now favourite to take over the reins at Bloomfield Road.
Barry-Murphy took over from Keith Hill at Rochdale and has kept them out of the relegation places with a nice brand of football. The Spotland outfit will always be restricted by their budget and apparent size, whilst Blackpool could offer him an opportunity to put his style in place with bigger budgets and a talented squad.
Barry-Murphy is a former Eire Under 21 manager who has earned high praise this season for bringing through an exciting collection of young players, the most prominent of which is Luke Matheson, who recently signed for Wolves for £1m.
Blackpool, who sit 16th in League One, dismissed Grayson after eight months in charge after tumbling out of the top six. the former Sunderland boss couldn’t arrest the slide, despite having the highest turnover of players in the transfer window.
If Barry-Murphy does want to improve his reputation, he might have to leave Spotland to do so. It’s sadly a sign of the times that their budget simply isn’t sufficient to cope with the demands of a League One promotion challenge.
That said, what they achieve is nothing short of phenomenal, survival is a big enough challenge without having the smallest budget in the division. They’ve got a lovely style of football and a philosophy of bringing young players through instead of trying to transfer their way out of trouble.
What’s not to like about that model? Barry-Murphy isn’t the be-all and end-all of Rochdale’s model, but he is the man who has them performing nicely on the field and that means this link is a real worry.
We can see it happening; his brand of football will keep bums on seats at Bloomfield Road and with fan belief, they’re a club capable of sustaining Championship football.