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Thursday, 22 November, 2001, 15:30 GMT
Palace put brakes on Bruce
Steve Bruce's resignation was not accepted by current employers Crystal Palace
Bruce has been linked with the Birmingham post
Crystal Palace have won a temporary injunction preventing manager Steve Bruce from leaving the club without serving a nine month notice period.

The High Court order will run until a full three-day hearing on 14 January.

But Bruce, who has been widely linked with the vacant manager's post at Birmingham, might be willing to stay at Palace until 1 August next year in any case.

His counsel said he might take "gardening leave" on full pay because of the legal costs involved in going to trial and because he did not want his Palace colleagues to have to "wash their dirty linen in public".

Palace chairman Simon Jordan
Jordan turned down Bruce's resignation
Bruce handed in his resignation to Eagles' chairman Simon Jordan several weeks ago, but it was not accepted.

Control of first-team affairs at the club have subsequently been handed over to Steve Kember.

In issuing the injunction, the judge agreed that Palace could suffer a loss if Bruce left the club.

The club had asserted that they could lose millions of pounds as a result of lost promotion prospects if Bruce left, especially if he went to a near rival.

They also argued that there would be expense in finding a new, equally good manager.

But Bruce's defence argued that any loss would be made good by their client "or whoever", and that he had pledged not to seek to employ Crystal Palace senior managerial staff or players.

The judge described Bruce, who earns a basic annual salary of 260,000, as a charismatic "whizzkid manager".

He also said that Bruce was an "extraordinarily famous person" who had enjoyed a wonderful playing career and then "yanked" Palace from the bottom to the top of the First Division.

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BBC Sport's James Pearce
"Crystal Palace argued they could lose millions of pounds"
See also:

08 Nov 01 |  Crystal Palace
Jordan will let Bruce sweat
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