Lamb hopeful for Southgate licence resolution

November 10, 2006

Middlesbrough chief executive Keith Lamb is hopeful Gareth Southgate will be able to continue managing the club.

The Premier League yesterday voted to amend their rules to give their clubs greater leeway to appoint managers without the requisite UEFA Pro Licence.

From now on, managers - such as Newcastle's Glenn Roeder - who started the course will be able to take charge of a top-flight club. Roeder had been working after granted special dispensation due to extenuating circumstances following illness.

Southgate's situation, however, is different as the Middlesbrough boss has not yet completed his A Licence, which he needs before he can enrol on a Pro Licence course.

Yet Lamb believes a step has been made in the right direction and feels the matter can be resolved to the club's satisfaction.

Lamb told Sky Sports: 'Gareth is as keen as anyone to complete his badges in the quickest possible time, he will do that and in the meantime will remain Boro manager.

'The rule change was proposed by the Premier League board and discussed and debated by the Premier League. Gareth's name did not crop up.

'Everyone - including the Premier League and the LMA [League Managers' Association] - is aware of the dilemma and this ruling goes some way towards solving that.'

Southgate has in fact been granted an extra period of grace. The 12-week period for which he is allowed to control a club without a Pro Licence - and which had been due to expire tomorrow - has been changed to three calendar months. This gives him until next Sunday.

On the main change, a Premier League statement read: 'The board put forward an amendment to the Managers' Qualifications Rule meaning that it was no longer necessary to have completed the UEFA Pro Licence in order to be appointed as a Premier League manager.

'The new rule stipulates that the UEFA Pro Licence qualification must have been started in order to be appointed as a full-time manager.

'This was agreed by the clubs and brings the Premier League into line with UEFA Licensing requirements.'

Boro's talks with the Premier League and Football Association over the matter will continue.

The club's argument is that the 36-year-old was playing up until he was asked to succeed Steve McClaren and therefore had no time in which to gain his qualifications.

They are hoping their willingness to allow McClaren to leave his contract on Teesside to take up the England post will also work in their favour.

The League Managers' Association have argued consistently for the rules govering coaching qualifications to be enforced.

However, chief executive John Barnwell said they had no problem with the latest development.

He told PA Sport: 'This is a change of the Premiership's stance, not UEFA's stance.

'UEFA's position is, and always has been, if you are on the Pro Licence and have shown good faith, you can be appointed the coach/manager of a senior club across Europe.

'We are quite relaxed about that, it just brings us into line with the rest of Europe.'

'Coach qualification was made mandatory, but what we have had a problem with is people with an A Licence being appointed without having started the Pro Licence.

'But if you are enrolled on the course and have started your Pro Licence, we have no problem with that.'