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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Saints face LMA pressure
By John May

LMA chief executive John Barnwell
Barnwell says managers are not happy with Wigley's role
Southampton could face a scrap with the League Managers' Association over head coach Steve Wigley's role.

Wigley has been allowed to continue by the Premier League despite not holding the Pro Licence qualification.

But LMA chief executive John Barnwell told BBC Sport: "Managers are feeling quite militant about this.

"We held a management meeting to consider the next step, we need to assess where we are and what the consequences could be."

Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe worked hard to convince the Premier League to grant a dispensation to Wigley, who holds Uefa's A licence.

It's not our regulation, it's the Premiership's regulation
LMA chief executive John Barnwell

Without the Premier League's blessing, Wigley would have been forced to step down in December, three months after his appointment as head coach, succeeding Paul Sturrock.

But Barnwell said that LMA members felt the Premier League had transgressed their own rules in giving Wigley until next August to obtain his Pro Licence.

Barnwell said: "We're not prepared to say anything more at the moment.

"It's not our regulation, it's the Premiership's regulation.

"Uefa said that every association had to bring its senior league up to Uefa diploma standard by the year 2010 or they wouldn't be allowed to compete in European championships.

"The Premier League took some time to put the Pro Licence together, and all managers and assistant managers have to have their qualification.

"That's why were puzzled. A lot of managers have been rushed through the process to get the Pro Licence, and what do you say to them now when the Premier League grants a dispensation like this?"

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