Date: 19th April 2011 at 4:10pm
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Blackpool could be plying their trade in Europe next season, if the players behave on the pitch.

The Seasiders are towards the top of the ‘Fair Play’ league in the Premiership, with the possibility of battling it out in the Europa League next season if they keep their noses clean for the remainder of the season.

Pool secretary Matt Williams has today been given ‘verbal approval’ that the club will be awarded a UEFA Licence, allowing them to compete in European competition.

As of March 20, Ian Holloway’s side were fifth in the Fair Play table, but only one team above them (Fulham) had in reality failed to qualify for either the Champions League or the Europa League through their league position.

However, new statistics published by Fulham themselves show Blackpool are now in pole position to take a European place next season. After their recent defeat away at Manchester United, the Cottagers’ official website noted the disciplinary record of all 20 Premier League teams. It read that Pool stayed in fifth spot, but that they leap-frogged Mark Hughes’ men.

The only team outside the continental qualification which are above Pool in the fair play standings is Carling Cup winners Birmingham City – who sealed a Europa League place with their Wembley win.

Whilst there are more pressing issues for the team at the moment, it presents a welcome distraction and perhaps an even bigger incentive to stay in the top flight.

Some supporters chastised the club for not applying for the UEFA licence in the summer, but positive steps are being taken as the continued progression of Blackpool Football club continues.