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Barca hampered by archaic FIFA

Barcelona 14 hours ago
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Bayern MunichBayern Munich
VfL WolfsburgVfL Wolfsburg
6:30 PM GMT
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 10, 2006

Rules bent to allow Roeder to take Newcastle hotseat

Newcastle will unveil Glenn Roeder as their new boss on Monday after winning the backing of Premier League chairman in their bid to appoint him.

The 50-year-old will be presented at a press conference by chairman Freddy Shepherd, whose lobbying since league chiefs granted him permission to seek a vote of approval from his counterparts paid dividends today.

Shepherd has been granted dispensation to appoint Roeder, who guided his side into seventh place in a hugely-successful run at the end of the season which finished on Sunday, despite his lack of a FIFA Pro Licence.

'Should we wish to appoint Glenn Roeder as our next manager, it is nice to know we have the support of fellow clubs, and I'd like to thank them and the Premier League for their understanding,' said Shepherd.

'Contrary to inaccurate newspaper reports that appeared last week saying the situation was in danger of turning into a farce or was heading for disarray, the whole process has been handled very professionally - and amicably - from start to finish.

'We have enjoyed a positive end to the season and the staff, players and fans of Newcastle United can all look forward to the prospect of European football again next season.

'We also have Alan Shearer's big testimonial game to look forward to tomorrow night before those players not involved with the World Cup can go away for the summer and recharge their batteries.

'We will make an announcement on the managerial position at Newcastle United for next season at a press conference on Monday.'

Roeder's appointment is a formality after all Shepherd's hard work behind the scenes, and just reward for his efforts in a caretaker capacity.

The Magpies were going nowhere when Graeme Souness was sacked in February, but the club's Academy manager insisted from the day he took over Europe had to be the target, if admittedly an unlikely one.

However, a run of 10 wins and two draws and a return of 32 points from a possible 45 saw them climb from 15th place into seventh and clinch entry to the Intertoto Cup and the possibility of UEFA Cup football with Sunday's win over champions Chelsea.

There has been opposition to Roeder's appointment - the League Managers' Association have voiced their disapproval - although Newcastle have always believed they had a moral case.

The former West Ham boss was enrolled on the course when he was struck down by a brain tumour in 2003, and having returned to the game at Academy level, did not want to be seen as a potential threat by any first-team manager.

He will begin the course in June and be qualified by this time next year, although his ability to manage at the highest level has been demonstrated impressively during the last three months.

Shepherd confirmed Newcastle will hold a press conference, at which it is expected Roeder will be unveiled as the club's new manager.

'We will have a meeting today and there will probably a press conference on Monday,' he said.

'It's very simple, it's compassion. He had a life-threatening injury when he had just started the course.

'At Newcastle we don't expect mercy on the field but we certainly expect it off the field.

'We needed a bit of compassion, that's what we have got. It could be them next time.

'The other chairmen have supported Newcastle and we thank them for that.'

Shepherd told Sky Sports News: 'He is a great guy, a straight-talking guy - there's no frills with him.

'Over the years we have tried a lot of high-profile managers; he's not high profile but he is certainly hard working.'