Luke Varney has described Blackpool’s relegation to League One as ‘horrific’ as he prepares to face his old side today.
The now Ipswich loan man led the line during the Seasiders’ memorable year in the Premier League, scoring five goals.
Ahead of today’s game against Ipswich, the 32-year-old spoke about his disappointment in seeing how the club has fallen.
“When you look at Blackpool now, there is not one player or member of staff left from my time there – it’s changed so much in four years, it’s horrific,” he said.
“I know the chairman is getting a lot of flak, but I don’t know the ins and outs as I was only a loan player at the time. But to see where they are is a travesty and hopefully, one day, they will get back to where they were because there was a fantastic buzz about the place, especially with it being a holiday resort, as you can imagine.”
Varney played 30 times in the Premier League for the Seasiders after joining on a season-long loan from Derby County.
The Premier League period which is constantly talked about by Blackpool supporters and one he isn’t likely to forget any time soon.
He said: “It was one of the best years of my career, a bit of a whirlwind, it happened so fast. We were brilliant up until Christmas and then after that we were terrible. I got a few goals, a few shirts (Steven Gerrard, Cesc Fabregas, Yaya Toure) but unfortunately it ended in relegation, but I made some great friends.”
On signing for Blackpool, Varney added: “I went up on the Thursday and I was spending the night in a hotel with stag and hen parties running around everywhere, thinking ‘I am going to be making my Premier League debut tomorrow’.
“But I had a good game and scored and, as I say, it was a fantastic time in my career.
“We took the lead twice at Old Trafford on the final day and for a time it looked like we might stay up at Manchester United.
“Wigan scored in the second half, then Stephen Hunt scored (for Wolves) and that killed us a bit.
“ I hit the bar and I thought we might be able to stay up on goal difference, but apparently, in the end it wouldn’t have mattered.”
Ipswich go into today’s game desperate to get back to winning ways after picking up just a point in their last two games.
Mick McCarthy sit three points behind the play-offs, and Varney warned already-relegated Blackpool pose a threat.
“They (Blackpool) have played with a lot of freedom this season, and that’s probably the problem,” he said.
“They can be dangerous, the same as Huddersfield and we have to start well and make our presence felt.
“We can’t take them lightly.”