IAN Holloway took training today at Blackpool, despite major doubts over his future.
It was business as usual at the club’s Squires Gate training ground on Friday morning as Crystal Palace waited on a response to their official approach.
The London club made their move for the Pool boss late last night.
The Seasiders are expected to fight to keep their manager, and as of this morning, The Gazette understands chairman Karl Oyston had not granted permission for the Selhurst Park club to speak to Holloway.
Palace’s swoop comes as a huge shock to everyone at Bloomfield Road.
After vacant jobs at Blackburn, Ipswich and Burnley were all now filled, and with Palace unwilling to stump-up compensation for Holloway, it appeared certain he’d be staying at Blackpool.
However, the Eagles have had a change of heart and decided to gamble on a manager to replace Dougie Freedman, who joined Bolton last week.
Holloway spoke to his players before training today to ensure them he’d heard nothing about his future.
He wasn’t part of the party which travelled to Derby by coach this afternoon, but it’s not uncommon for him to make him own way to hotels before a game.
Palace chairman Steve Parish said: “We’ve made an official approach to Blackpool for Ian Holloway and now we just have to wait.
“We’re pretty confident but we’ll see – you never know anything in this game until it actually happens.
“We’ll do our best but I’d like to think he will give us the right impetus now to push on.
“We feel that where we are now we need a bit of experience.
“The players are in a certain place and it took Dougie nearly two years to get where we are now.
“Rather than just try to find another Dougie, we’re thinking let’s try and change up.”
Should Pool and Palace agree a suitable compensation package, Holloway will then be allowed to talk to the London club about personal terms.
But he won’t come cheap, they would have to stump-up a year’s salary in compensation to appoint the Blackpool boss, a figure which is set at around £400,000.
Should Oyston turn down Palace’s offer, it would take Holloway to walk-out on Bloomfield Road, if he wishes to do do.
In that case, Holloway would himself be liable to a huge claim against him from Blackpool FC.
The manager’s future has dominated conversation in the past week, with reports in Suffolk even claiming Holloway spoke to Ipswich about their manager’s job on Wednesday.
But speaking to The Gazette yesterday, before news of Palace’s approach broke, he said:
“Speculation proved to be exactly what it is,” added Holloway.
“I’m not going to say I’m definitely staying because I said that once when I was at Plymouth, and I’ll never ever say that again.
“You’ve got to look at yourself and look at your life and where the chairman wants to go.
“One day it might be two different things.
“Karl always gets his way, and so far his way has suited me.
“If I don’t get in the play-offs this year, and I don’t win the play-offs, I’ve failed haven’t I?
“That’s the pressure I’m putting on myself.”