Last Saturday saw the completion of one of the finest footballing fairytales of the modern day era.
Ian Holloway and his Blackpool side secured promotion into the Premier League, prevailing in the Wembley play-off final, 3-2 versus much-fancied Cardiff City.
It was all the Tangerines deserved for their terrific attitude and application to force their way into the top six against all odds and now the Lancashire side have rightfully earned a place in the game’s richest league.
Key to the success: Ian Holloway
Much of that success has to be attributed to the work of boss, Ian Holloway, who has rebuilt his reputation by re-energising the Bloomfield Road club, giving them a self-belief and confidence in their own ability.
Part of Holloway’s charm is that he has always been able to get the best out of mediocre players, but it would be unfair on many of the Blackpool squad to label them as mediocre.
The likes of Charlie Adam, David Vaughan, DJ Campbell and Keith Southern have flourished this season, with Adam in particular notching 16 league goals from midfield.
Will Blackpool survive in the Premier League?
Blackpool are now in the enviable position of being able to afford to cherry pick talent from the Championship for their assault on the Premier League but chairman, Karl Oyston has already intimated that the club will not gamble on survival, instead modelling themselves on ‘yo-yo club’ West Bromwich Albion.
The bookmakers will not be offering many favourable betting tips on Blackpool next season, but their compact Bloomfield Road stadium is more than likely to ruffle a few feathers over the course of the campaign.
With three stands complete and one temporary stand erected for visiting supporters, top flight teams and fans alike will not relish a trip to the North West coast.
Bookmakers are currently offering odds of 5/2 for the Tangerines to avoid the drop and if Holloway can add quality to his squad whilst maintaining the much-famed team spirit which has got them this far, then that could become a bet for the smart money.