League block Roeder's Newcastle appointment

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The Independent Online

Newcastle United's attempt to appoint Glenn Roeder as their permanent manager without the relevant coaching qualifications was rejected by the Premier League last night.

But Roeder could get around the need to have a Uefa Pro licence if enough member clubs of the Premier League were to support a request by Newcastle.

In a statement, the Premier League said: "The Premier League board have considered Newcastle United's inquiry regarding the potential appointment of Glenn Roeder as their manager.

"Premier League rules require that managers hold the Uefa Pro licence and do not provide for any dispensation. The only way the board would be prepared to allow Newcastle United to appoint Glenn Roeder as manager without the Pro licence is if so directed by member clubs.

"In the event of permission being sought, sufficient support from clubs would have to be obtained and a formal resolution tabled at the forthcoming Premier League AGM."

Victory for Roeder's side over the Premiership champions, Chelsea, on Sunday would see them finish seventh in the Premiership and take a place in the Intertoto Cup, handing them a two-legged chance of Uefa Cup qualification.

Seventh place - and the chance of European football that that would bring - would be a just reward for Roeder, and in excess of what might have been expected when he took over from Graeme Souness.

At that point, Newcastle were lying 15th in the Premiership table, 11 points behind Bolton. Shepherd had insisted, since handing Souness a transfer kitty of around £37m last summer, that a top-six finish was the minimum requirement for the club's manager.

However, having seen the club's ambitions fade under the Scot, Shepherd would be delighted if Roeder could salvage some tangible reward for an eventful season. The former West Ham manager has fostered a meaningful recovery - and the response of the players to his leadership has impressed the chairman.

Roeder has expressed his gratitude to Middlesbrough,meanwhile, after they reignited his side's European hopes. The Teessiders fielded a weakened team at Bolton last night less than a week before their Uefa Cup final against Seville.

However, Steve McClaren's youngsters and fringe players took the lead before battling their way to a 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium to leave Sam Allardyce's men needing to beat relegated Birmingham today and hope the Magpies fare less well against Chelsea to secure a seventh-place finish.

"Steve McClaren and his players obviously have an eye on next Wednesday's Uefa Cup final and it was understandable that they would give some of their young players a chance [on Wednesday] night," Roeder said.

"But don't forget, these kids have grown up together and they will have gone out there last night and worked hard for each other and made it difficult for Bolton to beat them."

Roeder added: "The fact that it is now in our own hands whether we will be playing in Europe next season is Fantasy Island stuff."

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