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Holloway offers resignation after Premier League fines Blackpool

Manager brands £25,000 penalty for fielding weakened side 'a joke' / West Ham confirm that Spurs striker Robbie Keane remains a target

Jack Pitt-Brooke
Saturday 29 January 2011 01:00 GMT
(Getty Images)

Ian Holloway described the Premier League's decision to fine Blackpool £25,000 for fielding a weakened side as "a joke", and offered his resignation to the club's acting chief executive in protest. Karl Oyston will reject the offer, which was delivered to fulfil a promise Holloway made in November.

"I find it so offensive and nonsensical for these people to sit in their glass houses and throw stones," said Holloway of the punishment. "It is a joke. 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 match, including the game at Aston Villa."

The Blackpool side at Villa Park featured 10 changes from the previous league match. Suggestions they were seriously weakened were undermined, though, as they lost 3-2 to a James Collins goal in the last minute. When it was claimed that Blackpool might be punished Holloway said he would resign if that happened. On Thursday the Premier League fined the club £25,000, a figure that matches the suspended punishment handed to Wolves for the same reason last season.

Oyston has insisted throughout that he would reject Holloway's offer. "I absolutely would not accept his resignation", said Oyston, who was chairman before he stepped down at the start of the season. Oyston expressed how important it was to keep the manager who has taken Blackpool from the Championship to 12th place in the Premier League.

"I would fight to the death to keep Ian in his post," Oyston said. "He has done fantastically well and deserves to manage at this level for ever.

"It would be absolutely ridiculous if he 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."

David Gold, the West Ham United co-chairman, has confirmed the club want to bring Robbie Keane to Upton Park to form a partnership with new signing Demba Ba, who signed a three-and-a-half year contract yesterday. Keane's move could be complicated as Spurs want a permanent deal, but it is thought the Irishman would arrive initially on loan until safety in the Premier League is secured.

Gold said: "All players that are available from top-quality clubs, we are looking at those players and Robbie Keane is a player we greatly admire. He is clearly available and quality players rarely are. We see him as a potential acquisition." Ba, however, will not be fit for tomorrow's FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest but could make the Blackpool game next week.

Curtis Davies has joined Birmingham City on a three-and-a-half year deal. The centre-back has left Aston Villa for their local rivals for an undisclosed fee. Davies started his career at Luton Town and moved to West Bromwich Albion in 2005.

After a loan spell at Aston Villa he signed a four-year contract in 2008, but after failing to secure a place in the side he went on loan to Leicester City earlier this season. He joins a Birmingham side in need of defensive cover after Scott Dann's season was ended by injury.

Arsène Wenger has said that signing a defender on loan until the end of the season would be an "ideal solution" to Arsenal's defensive issues. Thomas Vermaelen will be out for at least another six weeks and while Wenger is keen to avoid a situation in which he has five defenders on long-term contracts, a loan signing would provide the short-term cover Arsenal require.

Ian Holloway writes exclusively in tomorrow's Independent on Sunday

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