Former Blackpool manager Ian Holloway, regarded as a hero at Bloomfield Road for his work in taking them to the Premier League, has lashed out at the current owners for sacking Simon Grayson.
The Grimsby Town boss would likely have been a candidate for the job had he not recently turned up at Blundell Park, but he’s certainly ruled himself out of the race now if there were any lingering doubts. Holloway, who not only took them to the Premier League but also the Championship play-offs after relegation, told Bristol Live the current situation at Bloomfield Road was a disgrace.
“Blackpool’s decision to sack manager Simon Grayson this week after just seven months in charge was an absolute disgrace,” he wrote, before turning his attentions to a club closer to his heart.
“While I will always be a Bristol Rovers fan at heart, I take an interest in all my former clubs and it sickens me to see the one I took into the Premier League join in a trend that brings modern-day football into disrepute.
“The hiring and firing of managers has become a sad joke and I just hope the people running Rovers are sensible enough to give Ben Garner time to stamp his personality and coaching ability on the club.”
Moving back onto Blackpool, the 56-year-old said: “When Grayson rejoined Blackpool last summer, I foresaw a new era of success at the club and I still think it would have happened had the club stuck with him.
“As recently as December the team had gone six games unbeaten and looked set to challenge for promotion. They also reached the FA Cup third round and took Reading to a replay. Yes, results have dipped since then, but eight of the nine defeats, including the one at Gillingham on Tuesday night, were by the odd goal.
“Anyone who watches football regularly knows how fine the dividing line can be between success and failure.”
Holloway is in his ninth managerial role, having not only been with Blackpool and Grimsby but also QPR (twice), Leicester City, Crystal Palace, Bristol Rovers, Plymouth and Millwall.
Sacking Grayson might seem harsh, but we feel it was the right decision. The wrong decision was to bring the former Sunderland man back after tough spells at the Stadium of Light and Bradford City.
The club have regressed since Terry McPhillips left, but all is not lost. They won’t go down this season and they have a capable squad of players, so they should climb back up the table under a progressive and refreshing manager.
We speculated as to who that might be yesterday, with Nathan Jones seemingly a hot favourite. He certainly wouldn’t be sacked after seven months and he’s got plenty to prove after leaving Stoke.