Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Holloway to 'offer resignation'

Ian Holloway

Ian Holloway intends to offer his resignation as Blackpool manager after the club were fined for fielding an under-strength side earlier this season, according to a report.

However, acting chief executive Karl Oyston said he will "fight to the death" to keep him. Holloway repeatedly threatened to quit if the club was punished because of his 10 team changes for the 3-2 defeat at Aston Villa in November - and on Thursday the Premier League hit the club with a £25,000 fine.

Holloway told the Blackpool Gazette: "He (Oyston) will be getting my resignation because that is how strongly I feel. It is up to him whether he chooses to take it. I don't know who I am working for. I have done the best job I could for this club and have tried to win every single game, including the game at Aston Villa."

Oyston responded: "I absolutely would not accept his resignation and 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.

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

Holloway's fellow top-flight managers rallied to his support, led by Sir Alex Ferguson. The Scot's Manchester United team provided the opposition last season when Wolves fielded what was deemed an under-strength side and were handed a suspended £25,000 fine by the Premier League.

Both Ferguson and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes this season's new 25-man squad limit negates the need for Rule E.20 in the Premier League regulations, which states that "In every league match each participating club shall field a full-strength team" and which Blackpool were adjudged to have breached with their selection.

"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 tomorrow'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."

The Seasiders only lost the match due to James Collins' last-minute goal, and Wenger stressed: "His (Holloway's) team was not weak because they nearly made a good result at Aston Villa. They lost in the last minute. I can understand why he rotated the team, because it was with close games, so I have sympathy.

"It is a rule which may be looked at, especially if you limit the squad. If you have an unlimited squad the rule is very good. If you have a limited squad like it is now when you can only have 25 players, I feel this rule should go. Every club now has 25 top-level players who can cope with the Premier League."

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