ONE week on and Steve McMahon is, at the time of going to press, still the manager of Blackpool Football Club.

"I'm staying" was all McMahon had to say after Tuesday night's game against Halifax at Bloomfield Road, concluding (it seems) one of the most bizarre chapters in the bizarre history of Blackpool FC.

At lunchtime last Thursday, just hours after a 2-1 defeat at Port Vale, Steve McMahon handed in his resignation. Karl Oyston put it in the hands of the lawyers.

A 5pm press conference was called and the great and the good of the local and national media gathered, expecting to hear that McMahon was to depart. Instead, they heard that the manager's resignation was still being considered by the board. No decision had been taken on whether to accept it.

Around 25 minutes in to the conference Oyston was asked if McMahon was in the building. The chairman doubted it. Then, as if by magic, McMahon appeared at the door... "can I have a word?"

After a brief break, McMahon reappeared and joined the top table. His resignation was withdrawn because of unidentified 'conditions' attached by the club and its solicitors. Those conditions were not in McMahon's possession at that moment in time and he felt that he could not quit. So it was all off.

All the press and public know about those conditions is that they were designed to ensure that Blackpool FC would be compensated in the event that McMahon took over at Oldham or any other club.

McMahon's furiously denied and link with the Latics: "You might think this Oldham scenario has got something to do with it. I don't know where it's come from. My issue is team building for this football club and, with no funds, I don't think I can take this team any further."

But, despite his accusations against parts of the media, rumours persist that the manager has been in talks with the Boundary Park club.

As Oyston said: "I am aware of one or two rumours and certain facts surrounding those rumours, but we've had no approach from any other football club."

The plot thickened as it emerged that Oldham Athletic officials had admitted to Sky Sports, the TV station that occasionally employs McMahon, that he had applied for the manager's job. Oldham's next action, some 24 hours later, was to issue a carefully-worded statement: "Contrary to reports in the media, the prospective new owners of Oldham Athletic deny having offered the team manager's position to Steve McMahon and can confirm that no approach has been made to him."

It was also revealed that Oldham's bid to escape administration had been knocked back. The football league's made its decision between the time of McMahon's resignation and its withdrawal.

McMahon left the sponsor's lounge at the conclusion of the press conference, while Oyston stayed to take some angry calls on a BBC Radio Lancashire phone-in.

Talks have continued behind closed doors at Bloomfield Road all week. It is believed that lengthy meetings took place on Friday, Monday and Tuesday, but speculation has filled the gap left by the lack of real information.

The manager was in charge of Saturday's game at Wycombe, using his post-match press conference to launch another attack on the board and invite interested clubs to make him an offer, mentioning Southampton (soon to be without a manager), Manchester City and, presumably ironically, Rochdale.

McMahon also promised to: "Have my say" on the affair and criticised Oyston for failing to attend that game or the recent visit to Portsmouth. The next word from the chairman came in the programme for the Tuesday night match. He said: "There has been much speculation in the last few days surrounding the future of our manager.

"The majority of you, will at some stage have seen or heard about the events of the latter part of last week, but, I would like to reassure supporters that the future of our club is the main priority throughout this period and tonight is no different.

"We are making steady progress both on and off the field and I am sure you will agree we have come a long way in the last four years. There is still a long way to go to achieve our final goals."

With a game against Oldham, of all teams, to prepare for on Saturday, McMahon's future seems slightly more secure. But the only certainty is that there will be no certainty at Bloomfield Road.