Boro seek Southgate Pro Licence dispensation

November 13, 2006

Middlesbrough have confirmed they will seek special dispensation for manager Gareth Southgate to remain in charge without the UEFA Pro Licence until the end of the season.

The 36-year-old is currently working towards his B Licence and will start his A Licence with the Football Association in the New Year before enrolling on a Pro Licence course during the summer.

That would see him meet the Premier League's newly-amended criterion for the start of next season.

Southgate is approaching the end of the initial three-month dispensation he was given after being appointed in June.

But chief executive Keith Lamb has revealed the club will submit an application for an extension until the end of the current campaign, which will be considered by the Premier League Board next Monday.

Lamb said: 'In the meantime, we have to make an application to the Premier League for special dispensation until the end of the season for Gareth.

'That will be made on expiry of his current dispensation and put before the Premier League Board on November 20. We hope that it will receive sympathetic support.'

Privately, Boro feel the have a more than persuasive case after handing their former captain a five-year contract following Steve McClaren's departure to England.

Their argument is that, rather than deprive another club of its manager, they have appointed a man they believe has great potential but who has been unable to gain his qualifications because he was playing right up until the offer was made.

In addition, they believe they have a moral case having allowed McClaren to walk away from a long-term contract to answer the FA's call.

Southgate has repeatedly committed himself to gaining his badges as quickly as possible, but the lack of time, courses and coaches available to run them has hampered him.

In the meantime, he is learning on the job and was a satisfied man after seeing his side grind out a 1-0 victory over West Ham on Saturday.

It may not have come courtesy of the entertaining football he wants to play but he believes the result, not the performance, was what mattered after two successive Premiership defeats.

He insists the uncertainty over his own future has not preyed on his mind, and is confident the players have not been affected by it either.

Southgate said: 'What happens with me should not have any influence on them.

'They are aware I am their manager and have got a five-year contract, so there is no problem with stability at the club.

'Any issues they have over that, they do not need to concern themselves with. All they have to do is go and play.'