David Cameron Walker

Posts Tagged ‘Karl Oyston’

Thank you and goodbye Ollie

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Since my last blog post, ‘Positivity is key‘ on September 20th, Blackpool FC have won once – away at Hull City – and have only managed to pick up 5 points from a possible 24. Back on that September day Blackpool were second in the league, had a captain, had a manager and everything looked peachy.

A lot has changed around Bloomfield Road in the past six weeks. There has been a much publicised manager merry-go-round. Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley, Ipswich and Crystal Palace have all been looking for new managers in that time-frame and as of November  3rd all those teams have managed to fill their vacant hot seats. Yesterday Crystal Palace appointed their new man – Blackpool’s Ian Holloway – taking over as Dougie Freedman’s replacement and half-time at Selhurst Park, Holloway was unveiled to the home fans.

It has been a turbulent few weeks for Blackpool fans and their manager. Holloway was linked with every job in the Championship and when Henning Berg was appointed Blackburn Rovers boss on Thursday morning, it appeared that Holloway would stay put at Bloomfield Road until further notice. Blackpool fans breathed a huge sigh of relief.

What we weren’t to know is that on the Thursday evening Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston and Palace co-owner Steve Parish were thrashing out a compensation package for Holloway and first-team-coach Keith Millen. Two days later Holloway and Millen had left the Lancashire seaside for South London.

The manner in which Ian Holloway left Blackpool will irk many fans. We don’t blame him for going, but jumping ship on the morning of a crucial game away to Derby County is no way to endear oneself to the fans that hold you in such high regard. However Karl Oyston played the part of the super-villain in this saga. He constantly refused to back his manager financially and has openly stated that a new training ground will be built, but nothing has yet come to fruition.

Ian Holloway was tied to a twelve month rolling contract meaning that all the control was with Oyston. A club could come in and pay the £400,000 release clause and talk to Holloway, which is exactly what Crystal Palace did.

Nobody can blame Holloway for leaving behind a chairman that shows zero ambition to the football club that he owns and runs. What Holloway did in the summer of 2010 to get the club into the Premier League will be remembered by all Blackpool fans forever, it is woven into the club’s history. However when you look back on that achievement and realize the constraints that the manager was working with, it makes that promotion look like a miracle.

The rest is history, the club were relegated on the last day of the 2010-11 season after losing to Manchester United at Old Trafford, with a points total of 39, just one point off safety. Holloway stayed and persevered with his chairman, and despite losing a host of key players that summer, Holloway re-built his squad.

That squad then went all the way to the 2012 Championship play-off final which Blackpool lost to West Ham United. Anyone would think the chairman would back his manager, after the club stumbled at the last hurdle. Just a few million pounds would have shown ambition to get back into the Premier League but Oyston refused to budge on financing Holloway’s transfer targets. Blackpool spent £250,000 this summer on new recruits. Ambition = nil.

Holloway committed to Steve Parish and co. when he signed a deal to become Palace’s manager. Palace have a highly successful youth set-up and he will relish the opportunity  to get his claws into some of their prospects. Family too is an important part of his move down south. Three of Holloway’s four children now live in the nation’s capital so Holloway will be closer to his family, however he will have to sell the house he bought on the Fylde Coast only a few weeks ago.

Holloway is a Blackpool FC legend and I, like many others, thank him for the wonderful job he has done over the past three seasons. He has imprinted a style of football that is the most entertaining my club has ever played. Promotion, relegation and play-off final defeat – we’ve seen it all in the past three seasons and for that Ian Holloway leaves the club held in the highest regard. Thank you and all the best.

Written by Adam Kinder, We Are Going Up’s Blackpool blogger

Adam tweets at @adam_kinder

Flying under the radar? Think again….

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

“It is nice to draw a line under the last fortnight now and move on”

Those were the words of Ian Holloway in his post-match press conference after beating Brighton 3-1 at home on Saturday.

Holloway has every right to breathe a sigh of relief. Blackpool FC have been in the news for all the wrong reasons on not just one topic, not just two but three topics over the last fortnight.

The Mail on Sunday reported that owner Owen Oyston’s company Zabaxe Ltd  had been paid £11m from Blackpool FC in the year that they were relegated from the Premier League. His payment as a shareholder of the club works out at £211,538 a week. The club posted record profits of £20m and fan’s felt the money would have been better spent on a  new training ground. The fans have voiced their concerns to chairman Karl Oyston, son of owner Owen, to step down from his post.  Ian Holloway’s reaction to this was to criticise the fans and tell them to get behind their team.

False reports of the club checking into a hotel for the Seasiders away trip to Peterborough only to be told that the credit card used to pay for the stay was declined didn’t help the cause, Holloway and the club have frivolously denied that this was a major issue and that the media, local and national were out to derail the Seasiders bid for promotion back to the Premier League. The story wasn’t helped as Blackpool lost 3-1 at London Road.

Another story which was picked up on by the national newspapers was the trial spell of a certain Mr Robbie Fowler. Fowler impressed in his short spell with Blackpool despite spending the last few years plying his trade in the middle east with North Queensland Fury, Perth Glory and a short player-manager spell with Thailand based Muangthong United. Fowler surprised Holloway and his players with satisfactory fitness levels as well as an eye for a goal. Fowler was offered a basic pay package of £100 a week with a £5,000 a week bonus if he played 90 minutes. Fowler rejected the deal and was quaoted as saying,  ”If Ashley Cole nearly crashed his car when he was offered £50,000 a week [by Arsenal], I nearly self-combusted”.

The three reports along with Blackpool’s inconsitent form over the past couple of weeks had Holloway in a spin.

Blackpool find themselves in fifth place, behind in-form Reading, who they are yet to play at the Madjeski Stadium, promotion chasers West Ham and Southampton as well as Chris Hughton’s Birmingham City. Occupying the final play-off place is Middlesbrough. The Championship is getting harder to call every single week, literally any one could go on a good run and be in touching distance of the play-off places.

The highlight, or highlights  of the season for me have been youngsters Matty Phillips and Tom Ince. The pair have found the net 16 times between themselves this season and Blackpool fended off interest from Cardiff City in the January transfer window when they tried to sign Phillips for a paltry £800,000. Tom Ince has recently been linked with a move back to the Premier League with supposed interest from Newcastle and Everton respectively.

This season has been, I hate to use the cliché, a roller-coaster. Blackpool have been inconsistent this season despite staying in and around the play-off places. A late push like that which got the club promoted to the Championship back in 2007 is just what the Tangerines’s need, that and as little interest from the national media as possible.

Holloway has publicly come out this week and said that 8 wins out of 10 games will be needed to make the play-offs this season. A 3-1 home win against Gus Poyet’s Brighton can’t hurt and Ollie will be hoping to get one over on his former team Leicester come Wednesday evening to keep the Seasiders in with fight for the play-off places and a possible return to the Premier League.

Written by Adam Kinder, We Are Going Up’s Blackpool blogger

Adam tweets at @adam_kinder