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By ESPN Staff
Nov 23, 2006

LMA unhappy with Southgate decision

The League Managers' Association have expressed their disappointment at the Premier League's decision to allow Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate to remain in charge without the necessary qualifications.

The Premier League Board yesterday extended Southgate's dispensation to continue as Boro manager until the end of the season as he attempts to gain his coaching badges, including the required UEFA Pro Licence.

However, the LMA, who have consistently supported the general principle of proper education for coaches and insist their stance has nothing to do with personalities, have hit out.

In a statement released on the LMA's official website, www.leaguemanagers.com, they said: 'The LMA is disappointed, but not surprised, that the FA Premier League board have once again chosen, as a matter of expediency, not to implement the League's own rule (Q4) in respect of mandatory qualifications.

'The decision does not sit comfortably with those managers who were told that if they did not achieve Pro Licence status prior to the 2003-04 season, they would not be allowed to manage in the Premiership and as a result applied themselves, in many cases at their own considerable expense, to obtain the required qualification.'

The LMA, who responded in similar fashion when Glenn Roeder was given permission to take over at Newcastle before he had completed his Pro Licence course, have been involved in discussions with the Premier League and the Football Association in an effort to find a lasting solution to the problem of fast-tracking coaches through the qualification process.

The game's authorities are hoping to establish a coaching pathway which will give top players more opportunities to earn their badges before stepping into management.

In addition, the LMA are hoping to firm up the rules regarding unqualified coaches.

The LMA statement added: 'On a more positive note, the LMA has recently met with the Football Association and the FA Premier League with a view to putting in place an agreement which would be embodied in the regulations and would in future commit all parties.

'Football management today grows increasingly difficult and the LMA remains committed to thorough preparation and education for all those who have chosen to make management their career.'