[ENGLAND] From the depths of English soccer nine years ago to promotion thanks to Saturday's promotion playoff victory over Cardiff City at Wembley, it's been quite a ride for Premier League-bound Blackpool. Promotion will be a bonanza for the club from the former seaside tourist mecca. It will earn close to $130 million in television and marketing revenues in the EPL.
Best known as the club on which English greats Stanley Matthews and Stan Mortensen played together in the post-World War II era, Blackpool fell to the bottom of the old Fourth Division 20 years ago and was in danger of collapse, but it has made a rapid climb to the top.
It beat Cardiff City, 3-2, in the promotion playoff, twice coming from a goal behind to return to the top flight for the first time in 39 years.
Blackpool joins Newcastle United and West Bromwich as the teams promoted to the English top flight for the 2010-11 season.
“It’s not just for my team but it’s the whole area we come from,” Blackpool manager Ian Holloway said. “They’re going to get so much money from the Premier League and I can’t tell you how proud I am to do that for them. I’ve never worked with a group of people who deserve this more. I’m bursting with pride.”