Championship Play-off Final: Ian Holloway fears sack could be reward even if Crystal Palace win £135m game

The former Blackpool manager hopes he will not suffer same fate as Adkins and McDermott

Ian Holloway has admitted that victory in tomorrow's play-off final could increase the chances of him losing his job as Crystal Palace manager even though it stands to earn the winning club a sum of up to £135m over the coming seasons.

The last few years have been full of examples of managers taking their teams from the Championship to the Premier League but then being dismissed as their side struggles to stay up. This season Nigel Adkins and Brian McDermott lost their jobs as Southampton and Reading managers respectively in their first top-flight seasons.

"Of course you are [at risk]," Holloway conceded before tomorrow's final. "You go up, you get the sack."

Holloway, who did also mention the counter-example of the rise of Brendan Rodgers, pointed to the season when he had taken Blackpool into the Premier League via the play-offs, after winning the play-off final in May 2010. The teams promoted ahead of Blackpool, namely Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion, dismissed their managers during the following season.

"The two managers that went up were better than me," Holloway remembered. "Chris Hughton got the sack, Roberto Di Matteo got the sack. And I was the only one who didn't get the sack and we got relegated. There's no logic."

Holloway questioned why promoted teams struggling in the Premier League should see the manager as the person at fault.

"At the end of the day if you get up to that level and don't quite stay up, why is it the manager who isn't quite good enough?" he pondered. "Why isn't it your players or your squad or the club?"

But Holloway does not look for sanity in his chosen profession. "There's no logic in football management," he said. "If you're looking for logic then don't look at football. Not being funny, but you get sacked if you come second, you get sacked at the whim and a prayer of your owners.

"You thought I was fortunate I got to [the play-off final at] Wembley [with Blackpool in 2012], but that's only because I didn't get sacked by Karl Oyston at Blackpool when I was down at the bottom of the Premier League.

"The game has never been quite as crazy as it is now. Even down to [Roberto] Mancini not having the power after he's won the title. How can you have Rafael Benitez, an interim manager who wins the Uefa Cup and then he's gone? Where is football? All I can say is it's exciting, however you do it.

"If you're scared of losing your job then don't come and sit where I am. Whatever job you have, you must commit to it and give it your best and be given some sort of time."

But Crystal Palace co-chairman Steve Parish said that the board would not simply blame the manager if they were struggling in the Premier League next season.

"You have to be realistic about where you are as a club and it's easy to blame one person," Parish said on BBC Radio Five Live. "We have a lot of work to drag our club into the 21st century. We won't be taking it out on the manager if things don't go perfectly."

Holloway is looking forward to the prospect of facing Gianfranco Zola's Watford, and admitted how much he admired their Italian manager. "I'm not on the same page [as him] as a footballer – not in a million years. I've just got the utmost respect for him, he is a wonderful fella. I don't even know him that well, but what you see is what you get with. He is so polite and dignified. The way he played the game was the right way.

"He was so entertaining and yet he is so humble. You wouldn't know how good he was. There is not one air of conceitedness about him. I'm delighted and honoured to be taking my team to play against his because they play in the way he was.

"I'm altogether more competitive, I've had to compete because I wasn't anywhere near as good."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue