Pool to leave 'hell hole' training ground

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CHAIRMAN Karl Oyston has pledged to provide a new training complex for Blackpool FC, after manager Ian Holloway vowed never to hold another session at the Squires Gate base he describes as "a hell hole".

The club is preparing a planning application for a four-pitch training centre on land owned by the Oyston family, and the Seasiders want to rent facilities at Fylde RFC until their multi-million pound complex is ready.

Oyston confirmed that urgent action has been triggered by new boss Holloway, who said: "We are never going back to our training ground again. Every player this club has ever had hates it, and every player we have is frightened of it. It is a horrible environment to work in.

"I have proved to Karl Oyston that we should move and I've told them where we should go. The land is owned by Owen Oyston and I've handed the owners a plan."

Karl Oyston said: "Ian hates Squires Gate and rightly so. The land is too limited and it is time to move away.

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"We have two decent pitches there but we probably need four and an all-weather one to do what we want and develop the youth side.

"We are looking at temporary and permanent places to go, and we will very shortly make a planning application. We have two sites to discuss with the planners.

"We are in a position to do something, though funding for the new one would be dependent on the proceeds from selling Squires Gate.

"If it is so important to Ian, which it is, then we have to let him make these decisions and we have to back him."

Players and managers alike have long been critical of Pool's training facilities and Holloway says his hardline stance has boosted his popularity with his squad.

He added: "You've never seen a bunch of players so happy in all your life when I told them. I will not accept standards that are not good enough to take this club forward.

"To be fair to Karl, everything I've put to him he's done. As long as I can prove it makes sense for the future of the club, he's happy to do it."

Fylde is among the venues used by the Seasiders since training resumed a fortnight ago because of problems with playing surfaces at Squires Gate.

Holloway added: "We hope to link up with Fylde and borrow their facilities for a year or two until ours can be completed."