LMA comments a 'disgrace,' says Shepherd

May 16, 2006

Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has blasted League Managers' Association chief executive John Barnwell for criticising the decision to grant Glenn Roeder special dispensation to manage Newcastle.

Roeder was confirmed as Magpies boss on a two-year deal, with Alan Shearer taking up the job of sporting ambassador at St James' Park.

And Shepherd used the press conference to express his disgust at Barnwell's reservations about the 50-year-old landing the job.

The LMA chief last week declared himself 'absolutely furious' that Premier League chairmen had supported Roeder's appointment even though the former Magpies defender has yet to obtain a UEFA Pro Licence, which is the entry requirement at Premiership level.

Barnwell said: 'The UEFA Pro Licence stops those people who make the appointments from appointing the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.

'But prospective managers are now looking at it and thinking, `If I want to manage in the top league, I don't need to bother to get qualifications, do I? What am I bothering for?''

Shepherd said at the unveiling of Roeder at Tuesday's press conference, which was televised by Sky Sports: 'I think it's a disgrace he said that - and shame on him.

'For a union leader to try to stop someone getting a job I think is incredible - I can't believe he said this remark.'

Roeder, who had previously enrolled on such a course during his time at West Ham but could not complete it after undergoing neuro-surgery, was more diplomatic.

He added: 'Just for today I don't think it's about the LMA - it's about the future of Newcastle.

'I'll talk about the LMA some other time, maybe.'

Barnwell last week had insisted it was not a personal matter as he said: 'It's not about Glenn Roeder. He's been on a minimum wage as an academy director.

'He's had three years to get his qualifications and suddenly because of circumstances he's been jettisoned into the job and quite likes it.

'Results have started coming, as they often do with a caretaker manager, and I suppose it's very easy to give him a massive contract.

'To go from not a lot of money to a lot of money, good luck to him.

'His name is being used and Newcastle are using that as a vehicle and we're not. People have forgotten the same thing happened with Eddie Gray at Leeds, and Steve Wigley at Southampton and here we are, still in the same position.

'Why have regulations? When the lights are red you shouldn't go through them.'

Since 2003, managers with less than 10 years' experience at the top level have been obliged to take the year-long UEFA course.

That has meant the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson have not needed to take the exams or undertake the 244 hours of instruction.