Michael Appleton: Blackpool name Portsmouth manager as new boss


Blackpool have appointed Portsmouth's Michael Appleton as their new manager.

The 36-year-old, who has signed a one-year rolling contract, replaces Ian Holloway who took charge at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Appleton's year at Fratton Park

Played: 51 Won: 13 Drawn: 11 Lost: 27

  • November: Appointed Portsmouth manager.
  • December: Chairman Vladimir Antonov resigns from the club. Owners Convers Sports Initiatives enter administration.
  • January: The Portsmouth Supporters Trust launch a bid to buy the stricken club.
  • February: Portsmouth enter administration and are docked 10 points. 30 staff including chief executive David Lampitt are made redundant.
  • March: Appleton vows to "fight on until the end" as the club look close to being liquidated.
  • April: Administrators of the club reveal debts of £58m and make several more staff redundant. Pompey are later relegated from Championship.
  • May: Former Portsmouth owner Balram Chainrai makes an offer to buy the club.
  • June: The PST open talks with administrators of the club as Appleton starts fire-sale of all senior players.
  • July: Appleton takes a youth team and unsigned players on pre-season tour of Gibraltar. Football League announce a further 10-point deduction
  • August: Liam Lawrence becomes the last senior player to leave Pompey.
  • September: Pompey earn their first League win in League One.
  • October: The PST are named 'preferred bidders' of the club. Appleton is linked to jobs at Burnley and Bolton.
  • November: Leaves Portsmouth for Blackpool shortly before his one-year anniversary.

Ashley Westwood moves with Appleton from Fratton Park, while Steve Thompson will continue as Blackpool assistant.

"I am obviously delighted to be back in the north. I am relishing the chance to be manager of Blackpool," Appleton told BBC Radio Lancashire.

The former Manchester United trainee departs Fratton Park three days before the first anniversary of his appointment as Pompey boss.

But his 363 days in charge have been dominated by the club's desperate financial plight.

He was unable to save Pompey from relegation to League One earlier this year and, with administrators warning that the club's future was in doubt, Appleton lost his entire first-team squad during the summer.

Rebuilding his team with youngsters and players on short-term contracts, he has guided Portsmouth to a position of relative safety in the third tier this season.

Appleton takes control of a Blackpool team that won for the first time in six attempts at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday.

Caretaker manager Thompson had said he wanted the job permanently, but chairman Karl Oyston has chosen Appleton as the man to take over from Holloway, the Seasiders' most successful manager of recent times.

The Bristolian led Blackpool to the Premier League in 2010 and almost secured a return to the top flight in May, losing to West Ham in the play-off final at Wembley.

With no major departures from the playing squad since then, Appleton will be expected to at least challenge for a spot in the top six.

His playing career was cruelly cut short, a serious knee injury forcing him to retire at the age of 27, but spells as a coach under Roberto Di Matteo and latterly an assistant manager to Roy Hodgson at West Bromwich Albion provided a sound base for him to begin his managerial career.

He was linked with the recent vacancies at Burnley and Bolton before they appointed Sean Dyche and Dougie Freedman respectively.

Appleton won 13, drew 11 and lost 27 of his 51 matches as manager of Portsmouth.