Ollie’s dilemma as return talk splits fans

Ian Holloway had an incredible relationship with Blackpool's fans during his time at the club
Ian Holloway had an incredible relationship with Blackpool's fans during his time at the club
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Ian Holloway is considering talking with Blackpool FC about a sensational return as manager, though the possibility has split supporter opinion.

The club legend described the current mess at Bloomfield Road as “heartbreaking” and revealed he is happy to open talks with chairman Karl Oyston.

The Gazette understands Holloway is keen to return to the club and feels he could turn their fortunes around, but the 52-year-old is concerned about the opinion of the fans he holds in such high regard.

While the possible return of the manager who guided the club into the Premier League five years ago excited many Pool supporters, some have no wish to see Holloway associate himself with the troubled club and would rather see the Seasiders struggle to replace Lee Clark, who resigned on Saturday.

When asked about a potential return to the club he also led to two Championship Play-off Finals in an unforgettable three-and-a-half-year reign, Holloway said: “If I don’t think I’m the right man, I will tell the owner that.

“I want to get back into work. People are still talking about why I might have l left.

“I want to build something that means something to the fans, and if that’s not the case then I will not consider doing it.

“It’s heartbreaking to see what’s going on at Blackpool. It’s almost been like a flesh-eating disease there.”

The Gazette believes Oyston would be open to a Holloway return, but knows it would require major changes, not least over the club’s structure.

Holloway, out of work since his sacking by Millwall in March, would press for the return of former secretary Matt Williams and of his former assistant manager Steve Thompson, who was suspended by Leeds in mysterious circumstances at the start of last month.

Holloway added: “For me it is about having a chance to make something better and to improve it, and if that not case I won’t even try.

“I want to be proud of what I do and at the moment I don’t feel proud of what has happened up there.

“What we managed to do there – and there were only four of us ...Matt Williams, Steve Thompson and Phil Horner my physio – was to get the energy of the town behind us.

“If you don’t get that energy, you’re in trouble. To see the club where it is now is horrible.”

The Gazette also understands Holloway would only consider rejoining the club with the full backing of the supporters and major assurances over backing from Oyston, though fan opinion seems to be divided.

While many wrote on The Gazette’s website that they would be happy to see Holloway return, protest group Tangerine Knights pleaded with him to come back only after the club has been sold.

Their statement read: “Ian, we respectfully urge you to reconsider. This club is in turmoil, and it is our opinion that Karl has lost control of the club. You must have seen what has happened and that there is a civil war here between the fans and the Oystons.

“That is not going to end by you returning here. It will only paper over the cracks.

“No matter what happens, until that family leaves Blackpool this club is going nowhere.

“Please, Ian, don’t come back while the Oyston family are still in control of our club.”

It’s believed Oyston has a number of managerial targets on his shortlist, including Holloway, and will start talks in the next 24 hours.