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Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Friday, 28 January 2011

Blackpool deny manager Ian Holloway will quit over fine

Ian Holloway
Holloway has steered Blackpool to 12th in the Premier League

Blackpool have denied manager Ian Holloway will leave after the £25,000 fine imposed on the club by the Premier League for fielding a weakened team.

Holloway told local media, and repeated on Twitter, that he would offer his resignation to chairman Karl Oyston.

But Oyston told BBC Radio Lancashire: "We have already talked it through prior to the news breaking [on Thursday] and the matter is closed."

He added: "This is simply a story chasing its own tail."

A club spokesman said: "We know he [Holloway] is very passionate, but we expect this to blow over."

The Seasiders were punished for the 10 changes Holloway made to his side for the league match at Aston Villa in November, prompting the manager to tell the Blackpool Gazette : "[Oyston] will be getting my resignation as that is how strongly I feel.

"It's up to him whether he chooses to take it."

Oyston made it clear to the newspaper that he would refuse any such offer by his 47-year-old manager.

I think it's a small fine, a slap on the wrist to say 'make sure you behave' really

David Moyes

"I would fight to the death to keep him in his post. He has done fantastically well and deserves to manage at this level for ever," he said.

"It would be absolutely ridiculous if Ian felt compelled to resign because of what is an unjust decision - he shouldn't compound it by stopping doing what he is doing so well."

Premier League rules brought in this season stipulate that all clubs must select from a 25-man squad.

Holloway argued that because he had fulfilled this obligation, a case for fielding an under-strength side could not be mounted against him.

The Blackpool boss was almost vindicated as his makeshift team were narrowly beaten 3-2 by Villa after a last-minute goal from James Collins.

But the League took a dim view of his selection and eventually issued a fine.

Meanwhile, Premier League managers rallied in support of Holloway in the wake of the fine.

"For me this fine is ridiculous," Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti commented. "I think Holloway knows his team very well and he is able to decide who plays. I hope that Holloway doesn't pay the fine."

Tottenham's Harry Redknapp stated that it was crucial for managers to be allowed to make full use of their squads.


The Spurs boss added: "I thought it was harsh. Other teams have changed teams and big teams have done it a million times.

"You have a 25-man squad - you are entitled to pick any of them, that's the rules. It's a juggling act.

"I did it at Portsmouth when we went to Arsenal on a Wednesday night. I rested people, I put all my eggs in one basket trying to get a result against West Brom on the Saturday.

"We got well beaten at Arsenal but I kept my best players fit for the Saturday and we beat West Brom and we managed to stay up that year.

"That's management - that's something you have to do at times. No-one can tell you who to pick, it can't be right."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson questioned the Premier League's decision.

"You are allowed to have 25 players," said Ferguson, who is expected to make a significant number of changes to his own starting line-up for Saturday's FA Cup tie at Southampton.

"They ask you to name them. They don't ask you to name your 11 and 14 substitutes. The rules are there."

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger thought the 25-man squad system should mean a manager can select whatever side he likes.

"It is a rule which may be looked at, especially if you limit the squad," the Gunners boss reflected.

"If you have an unlimited squad the rule is very good, but if you have a limited squad like it is now when you can only have 25 players, I feel this rule should go."

Everton manager David Moyes agreed that punishing Blackpool was "harsh" but qualified that by pointing out the relatively small size of the fine.

"To fine them £25,000 suggests to me that the Premier League didn't really want to fine them," he said.

"I thought if they did they would have fined them more than that. I think it's a small fine, a slap on the wrist to say 'make sure you behave' really."

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see also
Blackpool fined by Premier League
27 Jan 11 |  Blackpool
Blackpool defend Holloway bonus
27 Jan 11 |  Blackpool
Aston Villa 3-2 Blackpool
10 Nov 10 |  Premier League
Holloway defends making 10 changes
10 Nov 10 |  Blackpool
Holloway riled by selection criticism
11 Nov 10 |  Football
Wolves fined over team selection
18 Feb 10 |  Wolves

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