Shepherd unveils Roeder with new swipe at LMA

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The Independent Football

The Newcastle chairman, Freddy Shepherd, mounted a scathing attack on the chief executive of the League Managers' Association, John Barnwell, after unveiling Glenn Roeder as his new manager yesterday.

Shepherd presented the 50-year-old Roeder at a press conference, after giving him a two-year contract, and then turned his attention to Barnwell.

The LMA had opposed the Magpies' successful request for dispensation because Roeder does not yet have the required Uefa pro licence, with Barnwell claiming that the decision of the Premiership chairmen to waive their own rules opened the door to "the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker".

Shepherd said: "It's a disgrace he's said that, and shame on him. The League Managers' Association is a union, and for a union leader to try to stop someone getting a job, I find it incredible he should go to these lengths, and [I am] very, very disappointed."

Barnwell said Roeder would be a welcome member of the LMA once he gets his licence. "It is not an LMA directive - it's a Fifa directive we are following and it's not personal," Barnwell said. "If Mr Shepherd wants to make comments he can, but we're all for coach education and that's all we're trying to say."

Roeder was thrilled to have been given the task of managing the club for which he made 193 appearances, three years to the week since a brain tumour left him fighting for his life. "This is an amazing achievement, to be asked to manage Newcastle," he said. "This week three years ago, I was having an operation that would make what's happening today possible. What's happened today should give hope to everybody that the impossible does happen."

Shepherd also announced the recently retired striker Alan Shearer is to become the club's sporting ambassador. "While Alan will be doing a lot of travelling next year with his endorsements, when he is at home in Newcastle he will be around the club," he said.

* Tests have cleared a hotel kitchen of food poisoning after Tottenham players were taken ill on the final day of the Premiership. Samples from the kitchen at the Marriott Hotel in Canary Wharf, east London, were found "completely negative", the Health Protection Agency said. he most likely cause of the players' illness was found to have been a virus. Spurs lost to West Ham, forfeiting fourth place in the Premiership and with it a Champions' League place next season.