Last nights game at Villa Park saw Ian Holloway make 10 changes to his Blackpool side, something which, as a manager of a football club your entitled to do (in my opinion). Yet, the Premier League are more than likely to hand Holloway a whopping £25,000 fine a la Wolves and Mick McCarthy for fielding an “under-strength” team. Holloway was typically fuming at the proposed charges the Premier League could throw at him “If some bright spark from the Premier League wants to tell me who I can pick then come and have a cup of coffee and you’ll probably get it chucked in your lap”. The Blackpool boss has even threatened to quit if he is fined.
Its very rare you see a team make 10 changes from their previous game, especially if they are both Premier League matches. But Holloway has a very valid point, why have a squad if you can’t use these players when you want? Blackpool put up a good fight and maybe should have got a point, they ended up conceding very late and going down 3-2 to Villa. Even Holloway admitted his selection may seem “crazy” by switching 10 players but it very almost worked.
Still raging at the prospect of punishment from the Premier League, Holloway added “Let them try and fine me, it’s an absolute disgrace. I’ll show the Premier League. We were a credit to football, and let the Premier League try to tell me otherwise.” I think that Holloway should calm down a bit, and climb down from his high horse. Yes Blackpool have performed well above expectations so far, but its still only November and he has to remember Blackpool aren’t the first newly promoted to come out of the starting blocks flying (where is Phil Brown these days?).
The Premier League has set a dangerous precedent by fining Wolves last season, for their “under-strength” team at Old Trafford. And I fully expect Blackpool to receive the same treatment and face a fine, although this rule needs amending and by amending I mean scrapped. Do we expect Ian Holloway to carry out his threat and quit? Personally, I don’t think so. He loves the spotlight Blackpool has given him, and long may it continue.