Last updated : 21 September 2004 By editor

From The Guardian:

'Wigley does not currently possess the Uefa Pro Licence required if he is to remain in charge of first-team affairs at the Premiership club. To obtain it Wigley must complete a 12-month course. But he would be unable to achieve this before the deadline for him to be licensed expires in December.

Southampton have launched an appeal hoping to overturn the ruling. But the club would have to persuade their Premiership rivals to annul the regulations. This seems unlikely, forcing Rupert Lowe to appoint the eighth manager of his eight-year tenure as Southampton's chairman.

"Rupert Lowe is a Premier League chairman so he must have signed up to the regulation only a matter of months ago," said the League Managers' Association chairman John Barnwell.

"We all know the rules and, after all, the whole point of the licence is to produce better qualified managers, which will benefit everybody."

Wigley seems resigned to the probability that he will have to relinquish first-team control even if results do not finish him first.

"They're saying you must have the Pro Licence to manage in the Premier League," said Wigley. "I'm actually on the course now. I've been accepted on the course. It will take 12 months to complete and I'll do the residential [component] at the end of July. There are some rules that are in place but I'm not really up to speed on them. It doesn't concern me because my job is to prepare the team for football games. I leave everything else to the politicians and the people who make the rules."