Football: Wilkinson snubs Wednesday

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Howard Wilkinson finally dropped out of the race for the manager's job at Sheffield Wednesday yesterday by pledging himself to the Football Association and the cream of England's future.

Wilkinson is believed to have headed Wednesday's list following the sacking of David Pleat 10 days ago, but any return to the club he managed during the mid-1980s now appears to have been scuppered.

With the FA's technical director just 10 months into his four-year contract, the Association spelled out its determination to hold him to the full term at the weekend.

David Davies, the FA director of public affairs, revealed there could have been legal reprisals if Wednesday had tried to "poach" Wilkinson.

Wilkinson, who is keen to see his charter for the future of English youth football put into action, said: "I've got a contract with the FA. I am manager of the England Under-18 group and we have a game on Friday.

"The charter has gone through the FA and been accepted by the FA. I'm as committed to getting that charter organised as I was when I started. I was committed then, I'm committed now. What more can I say?"