Blackpool relegation would be 'end of the world' says Ian Holloway

Ian Holloway will find no solace in defeat should Blackpool lose their fight for survival at Old Trafford on Sunday.

When the Tangerines were being tipped to be relegated from the Championship at the start of last season, the idea they would be facing Manchester United at the end of this one seemed preposterous.

Even last summer, when the Tangerines were preparing for their first top-flight campaign in three decades, few gave them any hope of travelling to United with their Premier League future still to be decided.

With by far the smallest playing budget of the 20 clubs, and the lowest average gate, Holloway has performed a minor miracle to reach this stage.

However, telling the charismatic Bristolian what a good job he has done will not ease the pain should Sunday teatime bring a return ticket to the Championship.

"It will be the end of the world," he said.

"It will definitely feel like that. You can't be a football manager, or a player, or have anything to do with a club and be happy if you go down.

"All you can do is let the dust settle and go on."

Holloway made a pledge when Blackpool gained promotion by beating Cardiff in a Wembley play-off he regards as secondary to the task now facing his team.

Tempting as it would be to smash a pay structure that had been strictly adhered to by chairman Karl Oyston, the pair knew it was no way to run Blackpool's finances.

So, should they fall, the Tangerines will do so knowing the financial disasters that have affected so many other Premier League clubs who find their status cruelly stripped away will not be creeping up on them.

"We have been very clever with our budget," said Holloway.

"We have contracts to protect the club that other clubs don't. More fool them.

"There is no danger of not being in existence. We will not go out of business.

"What I will have are some very tough business decisions to make because we might lose this group of players.

"I can't do much about that. We are not in the same ball park as some of these other teams and what they can pay. That is just the way it is."

Always ready with a quip, one senses Holloway's claim earlier this week that the Premier League would like to see the back of him was made for the benefit of his own players, as a galvanising tool.

Behind the scenes, nothing is being left to chance.

Sir Alex Ferguson has already agreed to a request for Blackpool to visit Old Trafford tomorrow to get a feel for the environment they will be asked to fight for their futures in.

That, nor a succession of kind words delivered throughout the season, should not be interpreted as a sign Ferguson is merely going to step aside to let Blackpool win.

In fact, with out-of-form Birmingham facing an equally tough trip to Tottenham and Wigan gearing up to combat an aerial bombardment at Stoke, having failed miserably to cope with similar tactics from West Ham last weekend before their jaw-dropping comeback, calculators might be required to cope with a scenario when any of the three teams locked on the same number of points could win and go down, or lose and stay up.

"One of my analysts was looking at the table the other day. I said 'Good God. What are you doing? You are going to go mental'.

"My dad was an amateur player. He would say 'our name is on the cup'. Sometimes it is.

"This weekend, we have to do something no-one else has managed this season. Beat the champions on their own ground.

"I take great motivation from the way we played against them earlier this season. For 70 minutes we were absolutely magnificent. Then they brought on Ryan Giggs and Javier Hernandez and we ran out of steam.

"It scares me just saying that.

"But this is an opportunity for us to achieve the best thing we could ever have dreamed of. Keeping a club like ours at this level."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
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.

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried