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By ESPN Staff

LMA give Barnwell 'absolute support' over Roeder row

The League Managers Association have assured chief executive John Barnwell he has their 'absolute support' following the row over Glenn Roeder's appointment as Newcastle boss.

The LMA were powerless to prevent the former West Ham boss being named the new manager at St James' Park.

Roeder does not have the UEFA pro licence, which has been a prerequisite qualification for all managers in the Barclays Premiership, aside from those such as Sir Alex Ferguson who have sufficient experience to be handed exemptions.

However clubs belonging to the Premier League voted in favour of Roeder being allowed to take the Newcastle job.

The LMA's influence looked to have little impact on how the clubs voted, and to Barnwell's dismay Roeder was allowed to take the reins at Newcastle.

Barnwell and Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd have been at loggerheads, and an unseemly exchange of words through the media threatened to overshadow the issue at the heart of the debate.

However the LMA, who are chaired by former Leeds and Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson, issued a statement in defence of their chief executive.

'The issues surrounding the appointment of the new manager of Newcastle United Football Club have been widely misrepresented,' the statement declared.

'Without wishing to prolong the public debate it is important for the management committee of the LMA to give its absolute support to John Barnwell.'

Although top-flight clubs were happy for Roeder - who begins his part-time UEFA course this summer - to assume his new role, the LMA insist that their members back the organisation's stance.

That has been given validity by both Sam Allardyce and Paul Jewell, managers of Bolton and Wigan respectively, speaking out against the Magpies' choice of manager - even if Shepherd hinted the pair had an axe to grind, suggesting they had been overlooked for the Newcastle job.

'As chief executive it is his responsibility to represent the views of the majority of the members,' the LMA statement added.

'In this particular case that is exactly what he has done and with the full authority of the members as expressed in the recent annual general meeting.

'The LMA is fully committed to raising standards in management and coaching and using the vast knowledge and experience of the members to help the game flourish at all levels.

'Accepting mandatory qualifications is fundamental to achieving these objectives and the LMA membership recognises that this is very much in the best long-term interest of the game.'