LMA back Wenger over Platini row

September 24, 2008

The League Managers' Association have jumped to the defence of Arsene Wenger in the wake of UEFA president Michel Platini's recent criticism of the Arsenal boss.

Platini, in an interview with Grenoble newspaper Dauphine Libere, accused the Wenger of putting business ahead of football and admonished the Gunners boss for calling for video replays to be introduced to help referees on questionable decisions.

Wenger responded yesterday, expressing shock at the ''aggressive content'' of Platini's comments and defending his own footballing views.

And the LMA are firmly behind him.

In a statement reacting to the row, the LMA said they were ''astonished and dismayed at the personal attack'' while their chairman, Howard Wilkinson insisted Platini's views, regardless of their content, were not expressed in the appropriate manner.

''Platini has made serious and personal comments about one of football's greatest ever managers, who is also counted among our most respected members,'' said Wilkinson.

''If Platini wishes to address certain issues with Arsene Wenger this would better be done privately and not in the public domain.

''I believe Arsene has always acted in the best interests of the game.''

LMA chief executive, Richard Bevan, added: ''There is an overwhelming majority in favour of goal-line technology among our members.

''It is important that Platini does not lose touch with the current views and opinions held on technical matters within bodies such as the League Managers Association.''