Jose Riga: Blackpool set to decide manager's future by Saturday

By Steve CanavanBBC Sport
Blackpool manager Jose Riga
Riga is expected to stay in charge if he is still in place on Saturday

Jose Riga's future as Blackpool manager is likely to be decided by Saturday.

The former Charlton boss, who took charge at Bloomfield Road on 11 June, is locked in a dispute with chairman Karl Oyston over transfer policy.

Riga is understood to have refused to make any signings unless Oyston brings in three particular players, whose identities have not been made public.

With three weeks to go until their opening Championship game, Blackpool have just eight contracted players.

If Riga agrees to start bringing in players and is in the dugout for Saturday's opening pre-season fixture at non-league Penrith, he will remain in charge.

However, if the transfer stand-off between Riga and the chairman continues - or if the manager does not show at Penrith - it is expected to spell the end of his reign.

Blackpool's eight contracted players
Defenders: Gary MacKenzie, Tony McMahon, Charles Dunne
Midfielder: David Perkins
Forwards: Steven Davies, Bobby Grant, Sergei Zenjov, Tom Barkhuizen

With their opening league fixture to be played at Nottingham Forest on 9 August, the Seasiders - relegated from the Premier League in 2011 - have no goalkeeper and will have to rely on youth-team players and trialists to play Saturday's friendly against their Northern League Division One opponents.

A pre-season tour to Spain, for which the squad were scheduled to depart on Sunday, has been cancelled at the manager's request.

But Riga has been told the Penrith game will go ahead, with the boss - as far as the club are concerned - in the dugout.

The 56-year-old, who had a 16-match spell at Charlton at the end of last season, was appointed as successor to interim player-manager Barry Ferguson, under whom Blackpool narrowly escaped relegation to League One last season.

Riga has not spoken to the media since he got the job 37 days ago.

Michael Appleton currently holds the record for the shortest Blackpool reign - he was manager for 65 days during the 2012-13 season, before leaving to take over at Blackburn.