Thierry Henry coaching licence shows bias towards big names - scout
A Wales-based scout has questioned the speed with which Thierry Henry secured his UEFA A Licence, accusing the Football Association of Wales (FAW) of giving big names "an easy ride."
Former Arsenal and France star Henry secured the A Licence, which requires a minimum 180 hours' tuition, earlier this month through the FAW, where he had last year gained the B Licence, which requires a minimum 120 hours' tuition.
However, Will Foley, who works as a scout for Blackburn in Wales and the Midlands, also took the coaching course and said Henry appeared to have been fast-tracked because of his status in the game.
Foley told the Daily Mail: "There was no way humanly possible Thierry had even completed his UEFA B licence and could have finished all his assessments and tasks on the A Licence when everyone else participating on the course has not even had the chance.
"Where does it end with the Welsh FA? Are they not worried that someone somewhere will start asking to see proof that all these top names are completing what is required by UEFA to fully pass the courses?
"They are quite openly putting certain chosen names through the courses without completing the so-called allotted number of hours which all the candidates have to be seen to be doing. The big names get an easy ride while the others have to do it the hard way."
The Mail also reported that Foley wrote in an email to FAW course administrator Amy Hobbs: "In my humble opinion the A Licence course has become so dependent on making sure big names get 'fast-tracked' through that some of the other candidates are feeling isolated and unfairly treated."
The A Licence, which usually takes a year to complete, means the 38-year-old Sky Sports pundit, who has been working with Arsenal's youth players, can now manage in the professional game below Premier League level or at an academy.
To be able to take a job in the top flight or manage in UEFA competitions he must now go on to complete the Pro Licence.