Premier League wants Blackpool to be relegated, rages Holloway

Manager attacks idea that United may be fined for fielding a weakened team as coming from 'Planet Zarf'

Ian Holloway, the Blackpool manager, said yesterday that the Premier League, run by people from "the Planet Zarf", will be "relieved" to see his side relegated as he reacted angrily to the idea that Sunday's opponents Manchester United could be fined if Blackpool beat them.

With United's 19th title safely confirmed, it would only be natural for the focus of Sir Alex Ferguson's side to switch to the impending Champions League final against Barcelona. However, before that, domestic duties have to be fulfilled and that has prompted suggestions that Ferguson will pick a weakened side for the visit of Blackpool, who need a victory and potentially a helping hand elsewhere if they are to avoid relegation.

"They [the Premier League] will be relieved if we lose and get relegated," he said. "Then I [will not be] badgering them. I am so annoyed. Sir Alex Ferguson is a winner. That man deserves to pick whatever team he wants to pick. No one should question it.

"Look at his record. Those people running the game, what planet are they on? They must have beamed down from Planet Zarf. They think we can only beat Manchester United if they are weak. What a load of baloney. Already, they are saying Blackpool can't beat them. I am glad I don't go to work thinking that, otherwise I would never have got promoted last year."

Blackpool were themselves fined £25,000 for fielding a weakened team against Aston Villa in November. If Ferguson picks a more inexperienced side than he usually would, that is likely to prompt the League to request an explanation, yet Holloway feels offended by the notion that the United manager should be questioned. The steely attitude he displayed yesterday was at odds with his usually relaxed persona, even though he maintains that the pressure ahead of Sunday's contest is no more than usual.

He continued: "Ask Schalke [who United beat 6-1 on aggregate in the Champions League] if they think Manchester United have a weak team. On Sunday, we have to try and do the impossible. It's got to be perfect. No one else has beaten them [at Old Trafford]. And if we do, they might get fined because we are rubbish. The suggestion is that they should always beat us, because we're supposed to be crap. Don't try telling me that."

As preparations go for the biggest game in the club's history – certainly on a financial basis – Blackpool's week could certainly have gone better. Holloway has had to spend time sorting out the contracts of those players who could potentially leave this summer because the options as to whether the club want to extend their deals effectively expire today. That means he has been trying to haggle some players into staying while informing others that their services are no longer required. "It is slightly demotivating," he said. "I guess this weekend will see if I am any good as a motivator. I have had to tell seven of my players that we will be releasing them. So amongst all this wonderful euphoria we had from beating Bolton, we have had to tell certain players they no longer have a contract or that we've taken up options that will see their wages cut."

Stephen Crainey, Matthew Gilks and David Vaughan have rejected their initial offers as they wait to see what happens on Sunday. Ian Evatt and Keith Southern have new deals while Brett Ormerod is still negotiating his. Goalkeeper Richard Kingson, Gilks' understudy, is thought to be one player who is leaving although Holloway is determined to ensure that those departing will do so with Blackpool still a Premier League team.

"It'd be more than just a dream come true," Holloway added. "I think we deserve it and I think we deserve a crack at trying to do the impossible. I wouldn't pick any other game or team, I want this one because I believe it's set up for us to have a tremendous day."

Holloway's best lines

"I love Blackpool. We're very similar. We both look better in the dark."

When asked how he was settling in as manager, September 2009

"The chairman will need a hell of a tub of cream to get rid of me – I'm like a bad rash and not easily curable."

Dismissing reports linking him with Burnley job, January 2010

"In the first half we were like the Dog and Duck, the second half like Real Mad-rid. I was like an irritated Jack Russell."

After draw with Crystal Palace, March 2010

"I might be in a Skoda garage rather than a Mercedes, but some old bangers don't half polish up great."

After 6-0 defeat at Arsenal, August 2010

Five reasons the league should want to keep Blackpool

Wigan Athletic 0-4 Blackpool

14 August 2010

In a game switched to the DW Stadium as the new stand at Bloomfield Road was not finished, Blackpool announced their intention to tackle the Premier League head on with an emphatic opening-day victory. Gary Taylor-Fletcher's goal and two from Marlon Harewood handed them a 3-0 advantage at half-time before Alex Baptiste completed the rout.

Blackpool 2-3 Manchester United

25 January 2011

A stunning first-half performance at Bloomfield Road saw the former United defender Craig Cathcart and DJ Campbell put the home side two ahead. Two goals in three minutes from Dimitar Berbatov and substitute Javier Hernandez had United level before Berbatov's second completed a magnificent comeback by the visitors.

Everton 5-3 Blackpool

5 February 2011

A three-pronged strikeforce showed Blackpool's attacking gameplan as goals from Baptiste, Adam and Jason Puncheon put them 3-2 ahead. Four from Louis Saha helped Everton recover, although the visitors won much praise even in defeat.

Liverpool 1-2 Blackpool

3 October 2010

A Charlie Adam penalty and Luke Varney's fierce drive produced one of the shock results of the season. Blackpool led 2-0 at half-time and the home side could muster only a Sotirios Kyrgiakos header in reply after the break. A first win at Anfield in 44 years left them a point from a European place and they completed the double over Liverpool in January.

Blackpool 4-3 Bolton Wanderers

14 May 2011

Typifying their attacking approach evident all season, two goals from Campbell, and others by Adam and Puncheon beat Bolton in a thrilling derby, nearly 60 years on from the FA Cup final of the same result.

Matt Bass

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
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

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence