DJ Campbell’s career might have been in freefall before Ian Holloway saved him – but the Seasiders boss has no problems with the striker walking out on the club.
Campbell, 29, finally joined QPR in a £1.25m deal yesterday – a disappointment for many Blackpool fans, given how Campbell had talked of his love for the Seasiders and described how he and the club were a perfect fit.
Holloway insists he doesn’t feel betrayed.
On the contrary, the boss revealed he encouraged the club’s record signing to go.
“He is 29 and I told him he should go,” said Holloway. “A Premier League club has come in for him and I said, ‘You have to go, son. Off you go with my blessing’.
“If I was in charge of any Premier League side I’d have bought him. For £1.2m, he is an absolute bargain after what he did last year.
“I am surprised it took so long. I’d have snapped him up because I’ve seen him and worked with him, and I think he is absolutely brilliant. He had one goal in (every) two games for us. He was still prolific in the Premier League, awesome for us.
“Unfortunately for us, that clause allowing him to go for a certain price was part of the deal when he came. The chairman insisted on (the wage drop if the club went down) and his agent insisted on the clause. It works both ways.
“If we’d stayed up, he’d still be with us and he would be loving it.
“My problem now is trying to replace his goals. That is very difficult.
“We’ve played some half-decent stuff in pre-season but the ball hasn’t gone in the net.
“If I can find another 35 goals from somewhere we’ll have a chance. Kevin Phillips can’t do it on his own, so I need a few more.”
On becoming Neil Warnock’s fourth summer signing at QPR, Campbell said: “I grew up around here and QPR have played a massive part in my life.
“This was my first club, from six to 16, so to finally be back here is really special.
“It’s the club I supported as a kid. It is a massive club and it means a lot to me to be back here where it all began.
“There were other clubs in the Premier League that showed an interest but when I heard QPR were in for me it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. This is my club.”
Warnock said: “He is someone I have admired for a while now and he had a fabulous season in the Premier League with Blackpool.
“He is a QPR fan and you can tell he has a great desire to do well for the club he supports.”
Campbell could be followed to Loftus Road by former Seasiders loan man Jason Puncheon.
Warnock says he is confident of signing the Southampton winger, with Latvian defender Kaspars Gorkss (another Seasiders old boy) going the other way.