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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 24, 2007

LMA chief Wilkinson disappointed with Chelsea

League managers' chief Howard Wilkinson claims Chelsea should have sorted out the issue with Avram Grant's coaching qualifications before they appointed him as Jose Mourinho's successor.

Grant, 52, has qualifications from his home country Israel but according to UEFA sources they are only equivalent to the A licence - he needs the UEFA Pro Licence to manage in the Premier League.

The Premier League may decide that, in view of his experience as a former manager of Israel, Grant qualifies for a special dispensation certificate but Wilkinson, chairman of the League Managers' Association (LMA), believes such issues should have been sorted out before the appointment was made.

Wilkinson, speaking at a UEFA coaches forum in London, said: 'I don't want to get involved in personalities. This is not about Avram Grant, this is a matter of principle.

'We do not have any issue about the rules being tweaked, we are not against that if the move in general is to have better-qualified coaches working in this country.

'But one thing that disappoints us greatly is when clubs don't check beforehand.

'If BA employ a pilot they are not going to say afterwards, 'By the way, do you have a pilot's licence?' It's not a bad idea to make sure he has got a licence before you give him the job.

'It would help if these big corporations spent a bit of time and energy determining these sorts of factors first.'

Wilkinson said he was still waiting for the Premier League to clarify the position on Grant.

Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, now technical director of the French football federation, said every coach in France had to have the Pro Licence and that Grant should also have the qualification.

Houllier said: 'If you do not have a driving licence you cannot drive. If you do not have the certificate to be a doctor you cannot practise.'

FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking supported the idea of all top-flight managers having the Pro Licence and called for all league managers to have a coaching qualification.

Brooking said: 'The Football League have no mandatory requirements and we would like to see them at some level.'