Ever since Blackpool won promotion in that pulsating Championship Play-Off Final back in May, things have been a little quiet in the North West. Even Ian Holloway, the manager who is known and loved for his bizarre and occasionally weird post match comments has been a little shy. There is no doubt that everyone involved in the club is so excited for the new season regardless of the sniping of footballs elite.
Every bookmaker and betting shop in the UK has them as firm favourites to go down, fans of other clubs are simply marking 6 points down for the two fixtures they have against them and the club are rushing to get temporary standing ready for the third game of the season as the opening day match has been switched to Wigan Athletic to allow them more time to complete the work. Football snobs don’t want teams like Blackpool in the Premiership, but they got promoted because they deserved it.
Of course clubs such as Blackpool, Wigan, Stoke, Bolton and Blackburn will always be looked down upon. Certain people will often point to attendances and performances and claim these clubs have no right to be in the top flight. Yet, all of them are here on merit, they didn’t win a raffle to gain promotion. All suffer from public relation assassination in sections of the media, because they’re classed at little clubs who diminish the Premiership brand.
Whilst clubs with much larger fanbases, such as Leeds United, Sheffield United, Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest, Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday are in the lower leagues, there are reasons for that. It’s not bad luck, it’s not unfortunate. All of them lost their Premiership places through bad decisions, poor management and boardroom suicide. They all deserved relegation, its a harsh reality but it’s true.
Blackpool know that everyone outside of Bloomfield Road seems them as cannon fodder, though a similar train of thought may have been there last season. They were heavily tipped to go down out of the Championship last season as were Scunthorpe and Barnsley and none of them did. No-one of course, apart from the most optimistic of Blackpool fans could have envisaged a situation that occurred, but promotion was achieved and that is that.
The club have absolutely nothing to lose and Holloway said after the Play-Off final victory that this promotion could be the making of the club. They’ve suddenly found themselves with £100 million on their doorsteps, an unimaginable figure for such a club that nearly went of business 25 years ago. For them, regardless of the results, being a Premiership side has completely changed the clubs future from hoping to get by to being able to do everything they never thought they could.
Holloway wants to completely rebuild the clubs infrastructure to support its future. He knows that he cannot spend millions on players because some players and agents will simply not give them the time of day. He will be scouring the free agent lists and looking to Championship clubs to see what he can get to strengthen the club and get value for money. Frittering it away on stupid wages for players who don’t care what happens is not they way they are going. Blackpool can now write their own future free of worrying. Having a player of the calibre of Charlie Adam can only help the cause.
Of course they face a massive task ahead to keep themselves in the league, but so what. They can’t let the pressure, the odds and the snobbery get to them. They need to simply go out and enjoy the experiences, everyone thinks they’ll get hammered every week, so why play with fear. The squad can relax and play football and give it 100% knowing that every point will be a very important and proud achievement for the fans, the club and the manager. No guts, no glory.
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