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Without Captain Charlie, Blackpool could sink

October 29, 2010

Just as one long drawn-out contract drama is put to rest with Wayne Rooney remaining at Old Trafford, another rears itself with one possible outcome leaving a club rocked to its very core and without its prized asset. The amounts of money involved pale rather slightly in comparison but the future successes of a club could hinge over just one player’s contract.

Charlie Adam, a star for Blackpool so far this season as they make their bow in the Premier League, is set to take the club to court over unpaid bonuses. The 24-year-old is insisting that he is due £20,000 as part of his contract for helping the Seasiders avoid relegation. While Adam has been paid for helping the club to a very unlikely promotion into the top flight of English football, he is also of the belief that the survival bonus should also be honoured.

Three other Blackpool players are involved in a similar claim but it is the actions of the club captain that will worry Ian Holloway and the Blackpool fans most.

The Scottish international has been central to everything good that Blackpool have done so far this season. His deep-lying role in the centre of Holloway’s midfield suits his playing-style perfectly and alongside David Vaughan, he has pulled the strings of many Blackpool performances this season. But with the court action, there is a chance that victory for Adam would bring the legitimacy of his contract under severe scrutiny. Failing to pay the bonus could have made the contract void and leave Adam as a free agent as a consequence.

That would leave the highly rated midfielder free to sign for any of his apparent many admirers and leave Blackpool unable to recoup anything in the way of a transfer fee. And for a club that has admitted time and time again that their finances are perilously balanced, that would be a disaster.

Adam’s transfer fee to a fellow Premier League club could be as much as £9 million. That figure would go a long way to helping Ian Holloway replace his inspirational playmaker with a string of hard-working useful players that fit into his system. Without that money Ollie would be left without a transfer budget to rebuild his team and could, rather reasonably, jump at the first offer from a club with some money to spend.

That could leave Blackpool without Holloway and Adam in their ranks and heading in one direction. Four years ago, Blackpool were playing in League One. Charlie Adam is likely leave before the end of 2011 but if he is allowed to leave for free, they could be back in the third tier even quicker than they went up.

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