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O'Neill dispute delays decision on Houllier's Aston Villa future

O'Neill dispute delays decision on Houllier's Aston Villa futureAston Villa will delay making a decision on Gérard Houllier's future until the club's dispute with its former manager, Martin O'Neill, has been resolved.

A Premier League managers' arbitration tribunal was due to get under way on Thursday to look into the circumstances surrounding the termination of O'Neill's employment with the club, which ended in August last year when he resigned from his post as manager, five days before the start of the season.

There is no deadline for when the ruling of the arbitration tribunal will be announced and it could go on for at least a week, raising the prospect that Houllier's position will remain unclear at the start of June.

The Frenchman is recuperating at home, after he spent eight days in hospital last month with chest pain that was diagnosed as a dissection of the descending aorta. Although his future is a pressing matter, it is understood that Villa have decided that any significant decisions at the club should be put on hold until there is a ruling in the O'Neill dispute.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Stuart James, for guardian.co.uk on Friday 20th May 2011 00.06 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

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