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Jan 27, 2011

Premier League hits Blackpool with fine

Blackpool have been fined £25,000 for fielding a weakened side in their Premier League game against Aston Villa on November 10.

• Holloway gets slice of profit
• Holloway issues quit threat

Having drawn 2-2 with Everton in their previous game, Blackpool manager Ian Holloway made ten changes to his side and saw his side lose 3-2 at Villa Park to a last-minute goal.

Holloway argued that following the introduction of new rules that stipulated a club must select a 25-man squad at the start of the season, he should not be punished for drastically changing his side.

He threatened to quit if the Premier League took action, declaring: "If I got fined for picking a weakened team I would resign - I would pack it in. I don't care what anyone else says - I can do whatever I like. Let the Barclays Premier League tell me otherwise. Who the hell are they to tell me how to do my job?"

But the Premier League has opted to punish Blackpool with an immediate fine. That contrasts to the suspended £25,000 fine handed down to Wolverhampton Wanderers after Mick McCarthy's decision to rest ten players for their game against Manchester United in December 2009.

"Blackpool Football Club can confirm the Premier League board has found the club guilty of breaches of Rules B.13 and E.20 in relation to the team fielded by the blub in its fixture against Aston Villa on 10th November 2010," a statement read. "As a result of this breach of rules Blackpool FC has been fined £25,000.

"In reaching a decision the board took into account the team fielded by Blackpool in its match against West Ham United on 13th November 2010 and in subsequent League matches. The board also considered the team fielded in the FA Cup third round tie versus Southampton FC and Ian Holloway's comments concerning the team selected for that game.

"The board was also mindful of the fact that as recently as June 10 2010, following the introduction of the League's new Home Grown Player and Squad Rules, the clubs considered but ruled out removing Rule E.20 and the board is therefore committed to applying it in such extreme cases. The Seasiders have 14 days to decide whether to appeal."

Reflecting on the Premier League punishment, Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston told talkSPORT: "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. If the Premier League think those players aren't good enough to appear on our behalf then maybe they should tell us that as we nominate them and maybe they should pick our team for us, I'm not sure.''

Oyston rejected suggestions that Holloway would be leaving Bloomfield Road following the fine, saying he would do "everything in my power'' to retain the manager's services.

"The manager has got absolute total control over which players he picks at Blackpool and I support every decision he makes, so I have no issue with Ian and I think for him to consider resigning when he's done so magnificently well since he was appointed is something that I certainly wouldn't preside over,'' he said.

"I'll do everything in my power to make sure Ian stays at Blackpool for as long as I can keep him there. I don't think we should have been fined and we will reveal our position and possibly appeal against it. I think it's unjust and so does Ian.''

Oyston also elaborated on Liverpool's interest in midfielder Charlie Adam, telling Sky Sports News: "I think they have maybe expressed a direct interest to the media, but that has certainly not been backed up by their conversations with us, which have been slightly bizarre in my opinion.

"Ordinarily, if a club wants to take a player from another club they will approach them directly. Every step of the way through this window everything has been done by the media."

"I find it amazing the way the whole thing has unfolded. It has really left us in a position where we have just had to react to the whole thing rather than ever being in any form of control over it."

Meanwhile, Blackpool have announced the signing of Morocco international Salaheddine Sbai from French club Nimes. The left-back joins the club until the end of the season and has the option of another year with the Premier League side.

Discussions to sign Plymouth defender Onismor Bhasera are ongoing at present. Bhasera would join the club on loan initially, with a view to a permanent move.

"He's up there at the moment," Plymouth manager Peter Reid told the club's official website. "From what I've been told that should go through. We get a fee on that as well, which helps what we're trying to do in the terms of paying the tax man."

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