Pool to appeal fine despite missing deadline

Blackpool's Neal Eardley in action for Wales against Damien Duff on Tuesday night

Blackpool's Neal Eardley in action for Wales against Damien Duff on Tuesday night

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BLACKPOOL are locked in talks with the Premier League to reach a compromise over the £25,000 fine which prompted Ian Holloway to offer his resignation.

The Seasiders had 14 days to appeal against their punishment for fielding a so-called weakened team at Aston Villa in November, when Holloway made 10 changes.

The deadline expired last night, without the club officially lodging an appeal.

However, The Gazette understands Pool are still hoping to avoid the fine.

Wolves were given a £25,000 suspended fine last season for making wholesale changes for a Premier League game at Manchester United. Pool’s fine, however, was not suspended.

If the club can persuade the Premier League to suspend their fine, they will accept the punishment. However, if Pool are ordered to pay up, they intend to appeal and fight.

All a Blackpool FC spokesman would tell the Gazette was: “We are discussing our position with the Premier League.”

The controversy prompted an angry Holloway to offer his resignation, though this was quickly turned down by chairman Karl Oyston.

Pool believe they shouldn’t have been fined because the rules have changed since last season. Now clubs have to name a 25-man Premier League squad, and Oyston and Holloway believe that should entitle a manager to pick any starting 11 he wishes.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and a host of other top-flight bosses, including Villa’s Gerard Houllier, backed the Seasiders and said the Premier League was in the wrong.

No-one at the Premier League was available for comment.

n NEAL Eardley and David Vaughan are heading back to Blackpool after a disappointing night of international action in Dublin.

The pair started for Wales against the Republic of Ireland in the Carling Nations Cup opener but both were substituted as Wales lost Gary Speed’s first game in charge 3-0.

Eardley was replaced at the break by Nottingham Forest’s Chris Gunter and Vaughan was taken off on the hour, Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley coming on.

On the winning side at the Aviva Stadium last night was Everton and Ireland star Seamus Colemen, who is backing the Seasiders to stay up.