Bruce left in limbo as Palace turn down resignation

STEVE Bruce’s immediate future was in doubt last night after he attempted to resign his position as Crystal Palace manager only for chairman Simon Jordan to turn down his request.

Earlier, Jordan revealed Bruce was no longer in charge of first-team affairs, though he was "still the manager". However, the Selhurst Park chief later revealed Bruce tried to quit the club.

The 40-year-old former Manchester United defender has been strongly linked to the vacant managerial post at Birmingham, a club he played with for three years.

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Jordan, in a statement released on the club’s website, said: "The very latest is that Steve Bruce has resigned from his position at Crystal Palace Football Club.

"However, I have refused to accept his resignation and he is still bound by the terms of his contract, which include a significant notice period.

"It is obviously a difficult situation but one I will handle at the appropriate time and with the minimum effect on the playing staff."

Assistant manager Steve Kember and first team coach Terry Bullivant will take charge of the team the trip to Walsall today, something that Jordan said had been arranged before Bruce tendered his resignation.

"I’m in the position that I have excellent backroom staff who are a pivotal part of why we stayed up last year and why we have started so successfully this season," said the chairman.

"Steve and Terry will take charge of the first team and do what they are perfectly capable of doing, which is getting a result at Walsall.

"I am personally very disappointed about the entire situation, having given Steve a superb opportunity to re-establish his reputation and provide a platform from which he could build a successful football club.

"However, we have an excellent infrastructure consisting of two quality individuals in Steve Kember and Terry Bullivant, as well as a superb bunch of players who are more than equipped to take the club forward not just in the short, but the long term.

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"I would like to assure all Palace supporters that I will carry on my relentless pursuit of excellence for Crystal Palace Football Club and that the improvements in the stadium, the club infrastructure and of course the team will continue, taking us all to new heights."

Jordan’s decision to reject Bruce’s resignation leaves the former Manchester United defender in limbo at Selhurst Park.

A club spokesman confirmed that Bruce remains first-team manager in name only and will have no input into footballing matters, as underlined by the decision to give Kember and Bullivant temporary control of team affairs for the immediate future.

The chairman’s determination not to allow Bruce to walk away from Palace and deny him any day-to-day involvement leaves the manager effectively suspended.