PL - No threat to integrity
Richard Scudamore has rejected claims Man Utd could be penalised for making changes against Blackpool.
By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp
Last Updated: 20/05/11 5:37pm
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has rejected suggestions Manchester United could be penalised for making changes against Blackpool.
Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to rest several of his key players with the Premier League title already assured and the UEFA Champions League final with Barcelona looming large on the horizon.
With Ian Holloway's visitors still embroiled in a five-way scrap to avoid the two remaining relegation places, the spotlight has fallen on who Ferguson names in his starting XI at Old Trafford on Sunday.
But with the Scot confirming that Darren Fletcher, Paul Scholes, Anderson, Dimitar Berbatov, Patrice Evra and Edwin van der Sar will all play, it is difficult to find a case for claiming the Red Devils are selecting a weakened side.
Scudamore told Sky Sports News: "We don't need to remind clubs [of the rule]. The clubs are extremely professional. We've only applied the team strength rule twice in the last two years.
"There won't be wholesale changes in order to threaten the integrity of the competition, I'm sure of that.
"I don't think we'll be considering scrapping the rule. There is a lot of flexibility. We don't sit here at the Premier League and second-guess managers in terms of who their strongest teams are.
"When somebody chooses to put 10 out they've not put out before, and then the following week drop those 10 and go back to the previous 10 for a single match, we think that is what the rule is designed to stop. It's an extreme case.
"It's not meant to stop teams deciding to change six, seven, eight or even evolve squads or evolve teams.
"It's not us that makes the rule. The clubs have made the rule, the 20 clubs have sat around and considered the rule, they have made the rule, we have applied it."
Blackpool were penalised earlier in the season when Holloway made wholesale changes for the defeat at Aston Villa, before reverting back to his line-up from the previous fixture against Everton in the clash with West Ham.
The Seasiders boss claimed earlier in the week that the governing body would prefer to see his side relegated from the top-flight, a suggestion which Scudamore was quick to immediately deny.
He stated: "That's absolute nonsense. We, more than anybody, would be delighted if they stayed up.
"Ian has provided endless entertainment, when others may have been somewhat reticent and shy to go in front of the cameras.
"Infrastructurally, they weren't geared, really, to the demands of Premier League football, but we've worked with them, they've improved a lot of that stuff and there is still some work to be done.
"There is a conversation that has gone on and, when the season is over, Ian and my general secretary Mike Foster have agreed they are going to sit down, talk through any issues they may have and we will deal with it properly."