Bring on Brexit! 5 things Ian Holloway (probably) blames the EU for too

This season’s daft new handball rule is the European Union’s fault, apparently…

Ian Holloway


A divided nation. Harmful political rhetoric. Economic meltdown. Food and medicine shortages. No work permits for top quality football talent like Vincent Janssen.

The potential negative impact of Brexit has been widely reported, but according to one maverick football manager, it could at least bring one outstanding positive: giving back control… of the handball rule.

When discussing recently disallowed goals on Sky Sports’ “The Debate” show, the one and only Ian Holloway said: “For me it doesn’t make sense, the handball rule. If it’s not handball for both, how can you assess that?

“And to be fair, is that clear and obvious? They forgot the most important thing of all. Their [VAR’s] job is not to re-referee the game but to be clear and obvious, so I don’t think that’s our boys making up that new change of law. I think that’s people telling us what we need to do with our game, now they should stop doing that.”

Here’s where ol’ Ollie’s logic took a turn for the bizarre.

“I hope we get out, Brexit, because that’s what people are voting for and sorting that out because you cannot have someone telling us how to do our own game.”

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In his attempt to make football great again, poor Ian probably didn’t realise that the updated handball rule was actually decided by IFAB, rather than the EU. Indeed, lawmakers IFAB actually comprise of the English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh Football Associations, plus FIFA. Whoops.

Clearly, Holloway has a Bristolian bee in his bonnet about the European Union for some reason. Which makes us think he may well blame them for a few other footballing incidents…

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – MAY 11: Manager of Blackpool, Ian Holloway celebrates at the end of the Coca Cola Championship Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg match between Nottingham Forest and Blackpool on May 11, 2010 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

1 – Making Blackpool go to Old Trafford on the final day

Holloway’s Tangerines went into the final day of the 2010/11 Premier League season needing a win to stay in the division – a daunting prospect at the home of the newly-crowned champions. They gave it a good go, but a 4-2 reverse saw their one-season stay in the top flight come to an end.

Meanwhile, their closest relegation rivals Wolves and Wigan battled Blackburn and Stoke respectively. Clearly that’s totally unfair on Blackpool – no genuinely random fixture computer would ever be so cruel.

The only plausible explanation is that pesky EU meddling in proceedings, winding Ollie up just for a laugh.

No wonder he doesn’t like them; in a parallel universe Holloway is still in charge of a Premier League Blackpool.

Switzerland’s forward Xherdan Shaqiri (R) receives a yellow card for taking off his jersey while celebrating a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group E football match between Serbia and Switzerland at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 22, 2018. (Photo by Patrick HERTZOG / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)

2 – Players getting booked for taking their shirt off

The European Union have come in for criticism for many of their purported policies – Ollie likes his bananas curved, no matter what some Brussels bureaucrat says – but getting involved in player celebrations is another thing altogether.

Granted, booking players for shirt-stripping celebrations on the basis of unsporting conduct was actually another IFAB decision, but that’s not how Holloway sees it. Clearly it’s the killjoys in Europe taking away displays of raw passion and emotion, something the game is all about.

FIFA president Joseph Blatter opens the envelope to reveal that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich on December 2, 2010. Qatar became the first Arab, Middle Eastern or Muslim country to be awarded the right to stage football’s World Cup. AFP PHOTO/KARIM JAAFAR (Photo credit should read KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)

3 – Qatar getting the 2022 World Cup

As we’re sure Ian would tell you, everyone on the Brussels gravy train is corrupt as they come, obsessed only with lining their own pockets whilst nicking a living.

So it makes perfect sense that somehow, somewhere down the line, the EU got involved with the frankly shocking decision to hand the desert nation of Qatar the 2022 World Cup. Backhanders and pats on the back were all part and parcel of that deal, right Olli?

4 – Sacking Sam Allardyce as England manager

The UK voted to leave the EU on June 23 2016. Not long after, scandal engulfed English football which resulted in Sam Allardyce being sacked as the national team manager on 27 September 2016. Coincidence? Definitely not in the mind of Ian Holloway.

Clearly this was the work of a bitter and twisted supranational body who, scarred by its rejection in Blighty, wanted to get their own back by stitching up one of Holloway’s good mates with a pint of wine. It certainly worked.

5 – The fact he is currently out of work

Since leaving his post as QPR manager in May 2018, Holloway has been out of work and struggled to find a new employer.

Why is that? Well, some may argue that clubs are instead opting for younger coaches, who bring with them fresh ideas on the training ground. Others may say it has something to do with Holloway racking up just 54 wins in his last 188 games as a manager between three clubs.

But there’s only one place Ian is pointing his finger of blame: the dastardly EU, who have evidently got wind of his dislike for them and conspired to ensure no club gives him a job.

No wonder he (probably) doesn’t like them.

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