Next Blackpool Manager: Paul Heckingbottom and Ian Evatt in the mix to replace Simon Grayson

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 12 February 2020, 18:30

Simon Grayson became 2020's first managerial victim of the League One Sack Race after Blackpool relieved him of his duties on Wednesday afternoon, via a short statement on their website.

Grayson, appointed in July, had enjoyed a bright start upon his return to the Tangerines, having previously led the club to promotion up to the Championship back in 2007. 

However, since mid-December when Grayson’s troops were 4th, Blackpool have endured a shocking run of form during which they’ve managed to carve out only the one win in 12 games, which has seen them slip out of promotion contention down to 15th; 13 points adrift of the play-offs.

Owner Simon Sadler subsequently decided a change was needed, and so the club open up the search for a fourth manager in just over 18 months.

Speculation is brewing as to who the manager will be to step in and replace Grayson, with Paul Heckingbottom emerging as the early odds-on favourite in the next Blackpool manager market.

It’s been over three months since Heckingbottom, who is as short as 1/3 with Bet Victor, left his position at Hibernian, a post which followed a stint at Leeds, and a successful two-year spell at Barnsley with whom he led up to the Championship and to Football League trophy glory.

Also in the mix is Ian Evatt, the former Blackpool skipper who under the tutorship of Ian Holloway helped lead the club from League One up to the Premier League. 

He’s since jumped into the managerial arena himself and is currently enjoying success with Barrow who top the National League by four points.

Should his ex-club come calling it would be interesting to see if the boss is tempted to make the leap up two divisions back to his old stomping ground.


Paul Heckingbottom has emerged as the early favourite for the job

Another familiar face that features in the betting at this early stage of proceedings is Gary Bowyer, who steered Blackpool into League One in 2017, which was followed by a top-half finish the following season, before he abruptly left the club just one game into the 2018/19 campaign.

Bowyer would go on to manage Bradford but is currently available after parting ways earlier this month.

Regular readers of The Sack Race won’t be surprised to see that Paul Tisdale and Neil Warnock are once again in the mix for another Football League job. Both bosses have featured in numerous League Two markets this year but for whatever reason nothing has come of it. Could this change now a third-tier job is up for grabs?

Former Stoke and Luton boss Nathan Jones (16/1) is another name in the frame, as is Blackpool's iconic former manager Ian Holloway, although unfortunately for many fans a return for the latter is unlikely given that he’s now at Grimsby Town.

Sergio Lobera, a former Barcelona assistant is a name that’s also been touted. The Spaniard has managed in his homeland, and most recently the Indian Super League where he was unfortunate to lose his job at FC Goa last month despite being top of the table.

Meanwhile, Charlie Adam can be found at 33/1.

Next Blackpool Manager Odds

Karl Robinson

Current Team: Oxford United

Richie Wellens

Current Team: Swindon Town

Paul Heckingbottom

Previous Team: Hibernian

Ian Evatt

Current Team: Barrow

Nathan Jones

Previous Team: Stoke City

David Dunn

Current Team: Blackpool

Simon Rusk

Previous Team: None

Brian Barry Murphy

Current Team: Rochdale

Sergio Lobera

Previous Team: Goa

Lee Carsley

Previous Team: Brentford

Charlie Adam

Previous Team: None

Gary Bowyer

Previous Team: Bradford City

Nigel Adkins

Previous Team: Hull City

Sam Allardyce

Previous Team: Everton

Craig Bellamy

Previous Team: None

Phil Brown

Current Team: Pune City

Colin Calderwood

Previous Team: Cambridge United

Gary Caldwell

Previous Team: Partick Thistle

Sol Campbell

Current Team: Southend United

Owen Coyle

Current Team: Chennaiyin

Tim Flowers

Previous Team: Solihull Moors

Ian Holloway

Current Team: Grimsby Town

Paul Hurst

Previous Team: Scunthorpe United

Paul Ince

Previous Team: Blackpool

Michael Jolley

Previous Team: Grimsby Town

Steve Lovell

Previous Team: Gillingham

Ryan Lowe

Current Team: Plymouth Argyle

Brian McDermott

Previous Team: Reading

Daryl McMahon

Current Team: Dagenham & Redbridge

Terry McPhillips

Previous Team: Blackpool

Micky Mellon

Current Team: Tranmere Rovers

Kevin Nolan

Previous Team: Notts County

Kevin Phillips

Previous Team: None

Steven Pressley

Previous Team: Carlisle United

John Sheridan

Previous Team: Chesterfield

Alan Stubbs

Previous Team: St Mirren

Gary Taylor Fletcher

Previous Team: Bangor City

Paul Tisdale

Previous Team: Milton Keynes Dons

Neil Warnock

Previous Team: Cardiff City

Steve Watson

Current Team: York City

Graham Westley

Previous Team: Stevenage

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Previous Team: Northampton Town

Odds Correct as of 2020-02-28 16:30:42

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Graham Westley
Graham Westley
16th February
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