The futures of Steve Bruce's backroom staff look likely to decide the fate of the Crystal Palace manager's move to Birmingham City.
Simon Jordan, the Palace chairman, who suspended Bruce on Friday after refusing Birmingham's request to approach his manager, is ready to let him move to the Midlands, but only on his terms.
Bruce is understood to be keen to take Terry Bullivant, Palace's first-team coach, and Mark Bowen, who runs the London club's reserve team, with him to St Andrew's. Jordan, however, is anxious not to lose any of his backroom staff or players and may agree to Bruce's departure only if Birmingham agree not to poach anyone else from Selhurst Park.
The Palace chairman, who has refused to release Bruce on the grounds that he has not observed the appropriate notice period specified in his contract, said: "I have to make sure my management staff are not taken and my players are not taken."
Jordan says that he would not go out and approach a replacement for Bruce if that man was already manager at another club. He said: "I can't shout foul and then go and do the same thing. I won't go out and do the same thing. I will wait until the right man becomes available."
Jordan would probably be happy to leave Bullivant and Steve Kember, Bruce's assistant, in charge of the team for the time being. The two men helped to save Palace from relegation at the end of last season when the club won their final two games under their charge following the dismissal of Alan Smith as manager.
"Until I get the right person in who accepts the same attitude as Steve Bruce did in the short term and wants Steve Kember and Terry Bullivant, things will stay as they are," Jordan added.
Jordan said he was holding Bruce to his contract but refused to reveal what notice he expected him to serve.Reuse content