They always say ‘never go back’, and maybe Simon Grayson will now understand why.
Over the summer, Grayson was re-appointed as Blackpool boss, with new owner Simon Sadler bringing Grayson back to Bloomfield Road more than 10 years since he left for Leeds.
In between his exit and his return, Grayson had carved out success for himself at Preston. A former enemy during his Blackpool days, Grayson became a white in 2013, and recorded a memorable 1-0 win over the Tangerines just months later.
That was a crucial point for both clubs, sparking North End’s rise back to the Championship and Blackpool’s slide out of the second tier. That 2013 meeting was the last game between the two sides, as Grayson established Preston as a Championship side again.
Grayson decided to leave North End in 2017, heading to Sunderland after four years at Deepdale. His work was always appreciated at North End, but given how Alex Neil has fared, few would say that Grayson is missed.
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His Sunderland spell didn’t last long, and neither did a stint at Bradford City. Blackpool seemed like a great fit given his League One record and his history at Blackpool, but it hasn’t gone well.
After a strong start, our bitter rivals have fallen away of late. Tuesday’s dramatic defeat to Gillingham means Blackpool have taken just five points from a possible 30, and Grayson has now paid the price.
The Tangerines have confirmed Grayson’s departure this afternoon, meaning they will be looking for a new manager. Blackpool are 13 points off the playoffs and 14 clear of relegation so shouldn’t going neither up nor down this season, but they clearly felt the rot had to be stopped – and believe sacking Grayson is the answer.
Grayson’s career has undoubtedly been heading south since he left Preston, and his sacking from our local neighbours again suggests that his exit in 2017 and the arrival of Neil may have been a blessing in disguise.