Blackpool Fined £25,000 Over Team Selection

Ian Holloway's future as Blackpool manager was thrown into doubt after the club were fined £25,000 for fielding a weakened team. Holloway had threatened to make it a resigning issue but his chairman Karl Oyston, fearing the worst, said, "I'll do everything in my power to make sure Ian stays." Oyston's plea came after the Premier League punished Blackpool for resting 10 of their first choice XI in a 3-2 defeat at Aston Villa in November to keep them fresh for a game at West Ham three days later, which was drawn.

Holloway said he would walk out if his club were fined, a sentiment he reiterated after it was revealed that Premier League were investigating his team selection. "I've got every right to do what I like. I'm not having anyone tell me who I can play. My chairman doesn't tell me so why should the Premier League? Who the hell are they to tell me my players are not good enough?" said Holloway in November.

The Premier League spent the next two months studying his team selections to see how regularly the players who started at Villa Park featured. The most damning evidence came when Holloway picked seven of those who started against Villa for the FA Cup third-round tie against Southampton and then claimed the 2-0 defeat against the League One team was down to a depleted team. "Obviously, I didn't bring the team that has been playing in the Premier League for the rest of the season due to the size of my squad," he said.

It has been a controversial week for Holloway, after his confession that he stands to make money if captain Charlie Adam is sold at a profit. The manager was unavailable for comment, taking the chance of a brief holiday because Blackpool have the FA Cup weekend free.

Oyston added, "I don't think we should have been fined and we will possibly appeal against it. It is a squad game now. As a Premier League rule we have to nominate 25 players ahead of the season and that is what we have done. It wasn't that we put players out who weren't competitive. We lost the game 3-2, quite narrowly. If the Premier League think those players aren't good enough to appear on our behalf then maybe they should pick our team for us."

Blackpool have 14 days to appeal.

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