Jordan rejects Bruce's resignation

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The Independent Football

Steve Bruce has tendered his resignation as the manager of Crystal Palace – but it has not been accepted by the First Division club's chairman, Simon Jordan.

The latest stage in the saga of Bruces's anticipated move to Birmingham City as their new manager saw Bruce being suspended and ordered to stay away from the Selhurst Park club after a heated exchange with Jordan when the manager's resignation was submitted.

The former Manchester United captain was taken aback when an angry Jordan told him to leave the club and not return while the wrangle was settled. Bruce did not take training yesterday, while Birmingham fretted about appointing him as their manager in case it sparks a compensation dispute.

"The very, very latest is that Steve Bruce has resigned from his position at Crystal Palace Football Club," Jordan said last night. "However, I have refused to accept his resignation and he is still bound by the terms of his contract, which include a significant notice period. It is obviously a difficult situation but one I will handle at the appropriate time and with the minimum effect on the playing staff.

"I am personally very disappointed about the entire situation, having given Steve a superb opportunity to re-establish his reputation and provide a platform from which he could build a successful football club."

Palace's assistant manager, Steve Kember, and the first-team coach, Terry Bullivant, take charge of the team at Walsall today, something that Jordan said had been arranged before Bruce offered his resignation. "I have excellent back-room staff who are a pivotal part of why we stayed up last year and why we have started so successfully this season," the chairman added. Bruce plans to take Bullivant with him to St Andrew's.

The Southampton manager, Gordon Strachan, is set to sign his former team-mate David Wetherall from Bradford City in a £1.5m deal. The experienced Wetherall, who played with Strachan at Leeds, travelled south for talks yesterday.

Europe's top clubs will send Fifa, football's world governing body, a formal letter of protest next week following the club-versus-country dispute over France's friendly in Australia on 11 November. Representatives from a number of clubs, including Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus and Arsenal, met in Geneva yesterday to discuss the situation. The Arsenal and Football Association vice-chairman, David Dein, who organised the meeting, said the clubs had ''reluctantly agreed'' to release their players for the match, but added: ''There will be a formal protest by the clubs to Fifa over certain sensitive issues which must be addressed so that situations like this do not recur."

The clubs are particularly angry over a Fifa circular in August which stated that until the end of the year players would only have to be released for five friendlies, but that from January that number would rise to eight. As most French players had already played at least five, the clubs believe Fifa have reneged on that promise.

The Centrica chief executive, Roy Gardner, is to succeed Sir Roland Smith as chairman of Manchester United's plc board, taking over on 31 March next year when Sir Roland retires.

Uefa has warned clubs to stamp out racism. The chief executive of European football's governing body, Gerhard Aigner, said: "Once again there has been evidence of behaviour that smears the name of football. In particular, the racist behaviour of some spectators. We urge all clubs to take steps to stamp this out and I remind you that we have now changed Uefa statutes to enable us to punish persistent behaviour of this nature by playing matches behind closed doors."