Is Walter Smith set to join Barry Ferguson at Blackpool?

Barry Ferguson & Walter Smith

Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson has had little success in his new venture as Blackpool’s player-manager.  The club has yet to register its first win in Ferguson’s seven matches in charge, managing only three points in those games.  Coming off a 4-0 loss to Watford the pressure is mounting on Ferguson as the club keeps dropping in the English Championship table.  

William Watt of The Blackpool Gazette is reporting that Ferguson is hoping to bring in an experienced football manager to serve as a consultant to Ferguson as he transitions into the position.

Speculation has linked former Rangers managers Walter Smith & Alex McLeish to the mentor position.

McLeish, who managed Rangers from 2001-2006, was the early favorite for the position but it is believed that McLeish & Blackpool could not agree on terms for the role.

Now it appears that Ferguson may have asked Rangers icon, Walter Smith, to come in & guide Ferguson through the rest of the season.  

If that is the case, Smith would be the ideal mentor for the rookie manager.

Ferguson told The Blackpool Gazette  that whoever is brought in will be solely his choice.

“I had a good conversation with the chairman and hopefully we’ll get someone in who will sit in the stand (on matchdays) and oversee things from a different viewpoint.”

“It allows us to have a different view while I’m on the sidelines going daft.  It will be good for me to throw things to him and for him to throw things to me. I think it’s a good thing.”

Barry Fergsuson

“I’ve seen it done a few times. There are people I have learned a lot from and who I have a lot of time for.  The chairman has been brilliant to allow me to bring a guy in.”

“There are still bits of talking to do but we hope to have him in before the weekend.”

“You never stop learning in football. I didn’t stop learning as a player until I was 36 and I hope to have 30 years ahead in management.  I have loads of guys I can pick up the phone and talk to, and I’ve done that. I’m not frightened of asking people for advice.”

“The guy I want has been around the block a few times and has plenty of experience.  When you’re a manager you need a bit of experience in your team.  It’s the same with me. I’m a young manager and having someone there to guide me will help a lot.”

Ferguson replaced Paul Ince in January, as Blackpool boldly gave Ferguson his first gig as a manager.  It was an audacious move to give the 36-year old a chance to take over as a player-manager in the midst of a season that has seen the club mostly struggle.

Critics suggest that the club has not given the financial backing that he needed to transform the team at the January window.  While players like Kris Boyd & Alan Hutton were linked to joining their former teammate at Blackpool, Barry Ferguson l failed to make a major splash in the transfer market.

Blackpool’s latest 4-0 loss to Watford left the manager distraught & questioning himself as a leader.

After the match Ferguson said, ““If I can’t motivate a team I have a major problem. It’s better asking the players if I motivate them enough. I need to look at myself in the mirror and ask if I can really do this job. It’s a worry.”


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