Wenger scornful of Ferguson plan: Football

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The Independent Online
The Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, yesterday poured scorn on the request by his Manchester United counterpart, Alex Ferguson, for the season to be extended.

"To speak of an extension to the season is ridiculous," Wenger said. "You cannot say your championship is serious and then extend the season. If the rest of Europe reads that we cannot finish our championship properly, they cannot take us seriously.

"The problem is that the managers are not represented when these decisions are made by the Premier League. They cannot come to us in April and say it is not working out right. The problems have come, because nobody allowed for Manchester United going so far in the Champions' League when it was always a realistic possibility."

"I believe the managers should have their say. The 20 club bosses should get together and be represented when the fixtures are scheduled."

United and Liverpool have asked for the matches to be postponed because of their involvement in European competitions. The decision will be taken next week by a two-man Premier League board.

The satellite broadcaster, BSkyB, has denied using its influence to ensure that the May 11 cut-off remains. "We have no say in the matter whatsoever," Vic Wakeling, head of Sky Sport, said. "All we said to the Premier League was when they've sorted it out, just tell us and we'll cover the crucial matches whenever."

Blackburn may have to wait until a month before the start of next season to welcome their new manager, Roy Hodgson. Although Hodgson was never due to officially take over until the summer, Rovers were hoping for an early release from his present club, Internazionale.

But that prospect is now looking increasingly unlikely, and with Serie A not due to finish until 15 June it could be July before Hodgson can move to Ewood Park.