Date: 23rd May 2010 at 3:29pm
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Ian Holloway’s Blackpool did the unthinkable yesterday in gaining promotion to the Premier League – and it gives hope to scores of clubs looking to reach the top flight.

The Tangerine Army saw off Cardiff City 3-2 at Wembley in the Championship Play-Off final yesterday to earn the right to host clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool next season at Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool’s promotion is arguably the most unexpected since the Premier League originated – even boss Ian Holloway and their supporters wouldn’t have given promotion a second thought at the start of the campaign.

But they completed the fairy tale in scintillating fashion yesterday.

And in turn their promotion gave clubs throughout the Football League hope that they too could one day be playing amongst the elite.

It can certainly give Wednesdayites plenty of hope following the relegation to League One football next season.

Blackpool’s wage budget was on a par, if slightly higher, than Wednesday’s last season and it just goes to show that team spirit and the right manager at the helm can achieve the unthinkable.

In contrast to Blackpool’s relatively low wage budget and transfer activity, big spenders such as Nottingham Forest, Cardiff City, and the so-called ‘big’ clubs like the Owls, Leeds United, Southampton etc. will remain in the Football League next season.

Blackpool’s stay in the top flight may well only be brief (I’m not writing them off, but the odds will most certainly be against them), but their promotion will set them up for many years to come, and with the right management from the top they could well find themselves up there a little more often thanks to their latest success.

We may have suffered a season to forget last season, but Blackpool’s success certainly raises that little bit of hope amongst football fans up and down the country – it’s what the beautiful game’s all about.

Well done, Blackpool.