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Holloway: Squad limit is 'utter madness'

September 10 2013

Ian Holloway

Ian Holloway

Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway has hit out at the Premier League's squad limit rules.

Regulations state a club must have no more than 25 players in a squad for the season, but can use an unlimited number of players aged 21 or under.

Holloway was forced into cutting Stephen Dobbie, Aaron Wilbraham, Owen Garvan and summer signing Florian Marange from his list.

A furious Garvan made a thinly-veiled dig at the decision on Twitter, while Marange says he wants to rip up his contract or leave in the next window after playing just one game.

Holloway said: "If any more proof were needed that football has gone stark raving bonkers, it came when I had to tell two of the players that I have signed for Crystal Palace this summer that they wouldn’t be part of my 25-man squad.

"Stephen Dobbie, a £650,000 arrival from Brighton, helped us win ­promotion in the first place when he came to Selhurst Park on loan last season.

"And Frenchman Florian Marange signed for me on a one-year deal just 23 days ago after being released by Bordeaux.

"I had to tell six of my lads that the regulations meant that unless they each find a lower division club to take them on loan for the ­season then they will spend the entire campaign sat ­watching from the stand. It is utter madness.

"Clearly, the rules have been brought in to guard against the top clubs stacking and racking players because they have the finances to do just that. But when I signed Dobbie and Marange, I can promise you that I did so in good faith.

"I had no idea when we did the deals for Stephen and Florian that we would be able to conduct so much business in the final few days of the window."

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