Chelsea apply for Grant exception

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The Independent Online

Chelsea will apply to the European governing body, Uefa, for dispensation to allow Avram Grant to remain as manager as he does not have the necessary qualifications.

The requirement will further undermine the credibility of the 52-year-old, who has not coached outside Israel before, with the former Chelsea captain Marcel Desailly adding to the chorus of doubts yesterday.

"I was surprised Grant got the job," he said. "He doesn't have the experience but is motivated. He has to say 'It's about the future now and I'm in charge'. It will be difficult – Mourinho was loved by the players, that's why he was still in the job after last season."

Grant has managed the Israeli national team but his experience of the Champions League amounts to six qualifying games. He needs the Uefa pro-licence to manage the club for more than 12 weeks, which takes 240 hours of study.

The Premier League has shown flexibility in the past. Extensions were given to Glenn Roeder on health grounds at Newcastle and to Middlesbrough's Gareth Southgate, who claimed his playing career limited his opportunities. Aston Villa's Martin O'Neill has an exemption until 2010 after taking a five-day refresher course in coaching.

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