Blackpool hit with 25,000 pound fine

Blackpool have been slapped with a 25,000 pound fine by the Premier League for fielding a weakened team.

The offence happened when Ian Holloway’s side travelled to Villa Park for a clash with Aston Villa on November 10.

Holloway made 10 changes to the side that drew with Everton 2-2 in the game before, but saw his second-string team perform credibly against Villa, only going down 3-2 to a last-minute goal from James Collins.

After the match, Holloway was angered when questions were asked about his team selection, saying the new Premier League squad rules had forced his hand, and even threatened to quit if Blackpool was punished as a result.

“If I got fined for picking a weakened team I would resign – I would pack it in,” Holloway said at the time.

“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 decided to act and hit Blackpool with an immediate fine, instead of a suspended 25,000 pound fine given to Wolves last season after Mick McCarthy rested 10 players for his side’s trip to 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 club in its fixture against Aston Villa on 10th November 2010,” a Premier League 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.”

Blackpool have 14 days to decide whether to appeal the fine.

The news comes as a dampener on the same day the club signed Morocco international Salaheddine Sbai from Nimes.

Sbai is a left-back and joins until the end of the season, with an option of an extra season.