IAN Holloway has today quit as manager of Blackpool FC.
The 49-year-old this morning left Bloomfield Road to take over the vacant managers job at Crystal Palace.
But he said he was sad to leave the seaside after the “best trip (he had) been on.”
Holloway - who spent three years at Bloomfield Road - agreed terms with Palace last night after finally being given permission to talk to the club by chairman Karl Oyston.
And he told Palace’s official website: “This is a fantastic opportunity. I got great energy when I met the club’s owners and just can’t wait to get going.
“It is sad to leave Blackpool as my time there was the best trip I have been on and leave very proud of what was achieved and I would like to wish them all the best,” added Holloway, who has also managed Bristol Rovers, Queens Park Rangers, Plymouth and Leicester.
“I just see this as too good an opportunity to turn down.”
Keith Millen, who was Pool’s Development Squad coach, has also left the club to join Holloway in London.
Holloway added: “I am bringing in Keith as my assistant who is a Croydon boy and he is as excited as I am about the opportunity.”
Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston said there were no hard feelings over the managers decision to walk out off Bloomfield Road following Palace’s approach on Thursday.
He said: “I wish Ian all the best in his new role.
“He has done a fantastic job for us during his time here and will be remembered as the most successful manager in the club’s history.
“Things happen in football very quickly, as in this case, so I am not shocked by his decision. It suits him to be nearer his family and I am sure he will enjoy the new challenge he has set himself.
“There is no animosity, he goes with my best wishes having served our club so well and the success he brought to the club during his three years here.
“Steve Thompson will take charge of the team at Derby this afternoon. I will then be making an appointment as soon as possible.”
Holloway has spoke in recent weeks about his unrest over his contract at Bloomfield Road.
The boss was tied to a 12-month rolling contract, a deal which never runs out.
Holloway spent three years in charge of the Seasiders - over-seeing two Play-Off finals, promotion to the Premier League and a relegation.
Curtis Clough looks back at Holloway’s time at the seaside.
May 21, 2009: Holloway ends 363 days without a managerial post by taking over the Seasiders on a one year contract, saying: “I love Blackpool. We’re very similar. We both look better in the dark.”
August 8, 2009 : His first league game for Blackpool ended in a 1-1 draw with QPR at Selhurst Park
August 11, 2009: Blackpool recorded their first victory under Holloway with a 2-1 win away at Crewe Alexandra
August 29, 2009: Blackpool recorded a convincing 3-0 win against Coventry City which was Holloway’s first home league win.
January 2010: Reports were made that Holloway was ready to leave Blackpool, but in response he said: “I am more than happy and I am afraid 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.”
March 20, 2010: Holloway produced one of his most famous quotes as the Seasiders come back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palce at Bloomfield Road: “In the first half we were like the Dog and Duck, in the second half we were like Real Madrid. We can’t go on like that. At full-time I was at them like an irritated Jack Russell.”
April 2010: As talk of Blackpool’s promotion chances esculated, Holloway promised to ditch the players habit of celebrating wins on the team coach with fish and chips: “The dietician is going to get rid of that when he comes in. Although, first, we’ve got to get a dietician. That’s one of the things on my list.”
May 2, 2010: Blackpool gained the all important point which sealed their place in the playoffs on the last day of the regular season with a 1-1 draw at home to Barnsley.
May 2010: Holloway plays down Blackpool’s promotion chances by saying: “I want to win the Champions League in two years. Well, that’s as wild a dream as us being in the Premier League.”
May 11, 2010: Holloway’s Tangerine Army seal their rightful spot in the Championship Play-off final by beating Nottingham Forest 6-4 on aggregate in the semi-finals.
May 22, 2010: Exactly a year and a day after being appointed Blackpool manager, Holloway’s men beat Cardiff City 3-2 at Wembley in the Championship Play-off final with goals from Adam, Taylor-Fletcher and Ormerod taking them to the Premier League.
August 14, 2010: Blackpool’s first game in the Premier League since 1971 ended in a magnificant 4-0 win for the Seasiders at the DW Stadium against Wigan Athletic, launching them to second in the league after the first round of fixtures.
August 28, 2010: Blackpool’s first home game in the Premier League ended with a 2-2 draw against Fulham.
August 2010: In response to Holloway fielding one of the cheapest squads in the Premier League he said: “I might be in a bit of a Skoda garage rather than a Mercedes garage, but I am telling you some old bangers don’t half polish up great.”
November 10,2010: Blackpool were defeated 3-2 by Aston Villa at Villa Park. Holloway made 10 changes to his squad, which caused much uproar from the Premier League. On the issue Holloway said:”If some bright spark from the Premier League, or Barclays Premier League as we’re supposed to call it, wants to come down and have a chat and a cup of coffee...you’ll probably get it chucked in your lap.”
January 28, 2011: Ian Holloway keeps his promise and hands in his resignation after the Premier League fine the club £25,000 for feilding a so called ‘weakend side’ against Aston Villa on November 10, 2010. Karl Oyston responded by saying: “I absolutely would not accept his resignation and I would fight to the death to keep him in his post”.
January 2011: In response to Liverpool’s bid for Charlie Adam, Holloway said: “If he’s worth £4m I’m a Scotsman called Mctavish”
May 22, 2011: One year after their play-off victory Blackpool were relegated from the Premier League after a 3-2 final day defeat at Old Trafford. Although the season ended in relegation, Ian Holloway said: “I couldn’t be prouder, we were terrific.”
September 10, 2011: Holloway marked his centenary of games in charge of the Seasiders with a 2-0 win at home to Ipswich Town.
April 21, 2012: Ian Holloway’s men secure their second play-off postion in three years with a 4-0 home victory against local rivals Burnely.
May 9, 2012: With a 3-2 aggregate win over Birmingham City, Blackpool progress through to the Championship Play-Off final. It was the 2nd play-off final that Blackpool featured in within 3 years
May 19, 2012: Blackpool are defeated by West Ham at Wembley 2-1 in the play-off final, it is Blackpool’s first defeat at the new Wembley.
October 26, 2012: Rumours that Holloway is soon to depart Bloomfield Road ripen as the 49 year old said is linked with every vacant managerial post in the Championship.
November 1, 2012: Crystal Palace make an offical approach for Ian Holloway to become their next manager.
November 3, 2012: Holloway leaves Blackpool.
For full story and reaction see Monday’s Gazette.