Blackpool's ground is being hastily upgraded, as is their squad, but the return of the seaside club to the English elite for the first time since 1971 adds a juicy orange twist to Saturday's Premier League kick off. Relegation favourites they may be, but Ian Holloway's side will hog some of the limelight on Saturday as their season begins with a trip to Wigan Athletic - a match that was switched to an away fixture while their Bloomfield Road stadium is enlarged.
Blackpool began last season tipped for the drop into the third tier but instead ended the campaign by beating Cardiff City in the Championship play-off final at Wembley - a victory worth an estimated £90 million (Dh518m) even if they, as most pundits predict, go straight back down. Not that they have been splashing the cash in the offseason - a situation that left Holloway frustrated until he finally got clearance to sign five players yesterday.
The striker Marlon Harewood, previously with West Ham United and Aston Villa, will offer a physical presence while defender Craig Cathcart, signed from Manchester United, and midfielders Ludovic Sylvestre, Malaury Martin and Elliot Grandin will add some depth. "I've been running up blind alleys but we have a structure and we want to stick to that. I'm not falling into other people's traps," Holloway, whose quips will enliven the forthcoming season.