Comment: Holloway won't move to Swansea
Every time a managerial job is newly available, there is a tremor of panic along the Fylde Coast. Ian Holloway is, after all, bound to be picked up by a bigger club at some point and he shall be off on his merry way. Right?
Wrong. That involuntary squirm of supporters isn't without good reason - Holloway has been the best Blackpool boss since FA Cup winner Joe Smith - but Seasiders should not be unduly worried. Swansea City are set to announce their new gaffer this week after Brendan Rodgers' move to Liverpool, but confidence that Ollie will stay shouldn't waver. Although he will be looked at by Huw Jenkins, which is reflected by his price with the bookmakers (5/2 with Sky Bet, and an obvious frontrunner), there is no way he will end up at the Liberty Stadium. At the moment, there hasn't even been an official approach for his services.
How can a Pool writer be so blasé about this, you might ask. Unfinished business is the simple answer. That, and a contractual situation Football League managers up and down the country dream of.
His side should have sealed promotion at Wembley, but missed chances let them down. His side should have survived relegation from the Premier League 12 months earlier, but defensive disorganisation let them down. Holloway, after constructive talks with chairman Karl Oyston recently, wants automatic promotion next season to make up for those unfortunate and unjustified events that hit his team.
Off the pitch, despite the war chest of money available to the club being hidden deep inside Bloomfield, Holloway has the freedom to express himself at the helm, never questioned by the heirarchy, and has steadily improved the infrastructural problems that blighted the club for years. That continues to motor, and it is hoped that work on a new training ground will begin in earnest.
The fact that he has seemingly been backed in a bid to land Paul Anderson so early into the close season is encouraging, and that is a transfer that could positively effect him in more ways than one. Would he be afforded a cut of a future transfer fee at other clubs for players he'd nurtured into talents worth selling for a tidy profit? Probably not. The financial benefits of being on this flexible rolling contract are potentially huge, especially if you take a rough diamond like Anderson, sign him for nothing, and sell for a seven-figure sum.
That rolling deal is a mutually beneficial agreement - the chairman can dispense of the services as and when (unlikely) and the manager can move on when he likes. It's not overly plausible he would use that freebie on uprooting to Swansea, a side now dangerously circling the 'second season syndrome' pit of doom before a pre-season ball has even been kicked. They have already missed out on the signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson, who was so influential in the second half of the season, and without their prized asset, Rodgers, could struggle to attract quality this summer, in a similar parallel to Blackpool if they were to lose the manager.
Regardless, the Pool fans who have flustered themselves over the last week or so, have forgotten what Holloway exclaimed this time last year. 'I will never walk out on a contract again. I will certainly never bite the hand that feeds me. I might make a mistake once, but I learn from it,' he said in the wake of speculation over his future, citing leaving Plymouth for Leicester City as a poor misjudgement. While those words might be considered hollow in football's modern, media-driven age, it is important to remember who they've come from: the man with the biggest integrity in the game; the man who will seal promotion to the promised land next season, and the man who has no intention of leaving the football club. Do not worry.