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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 May, 2004, 07:45 GMT 08:45 UK
Wilkinson leaves Shanghai
Howard Wilkinson
Wilkinson was wanted on a long-term basis
Howard Wilkinson has left Chinese champions Shanghai Shenhua.

The Football Association's ex-technical director has parted company with the club only days after the start of their season because of "personal reasons".

It has been reported that illness within Wilkinson's family led to him parting company with the club.

Sui Jianhua, deputy manager of Shenhua, revealed: "He would like to stay but he can do nothing due to the problem of his family."

Wilkinson took charge of the club in March and Shanghai Shenhua were keen to sign the former Leeds and Sunderland manager on a long-term basis.

"He is not renewing his contract," said Shanghai Shenhua general manager Lou Shifang.

"We were well-prepared psychologically for this. I don't think it will bring any impact to our performance in this season."

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