Southgate set for Boro unveiling

Middlesbrough are set to spark controversy this afternoon by appointing defender Gareth Southgate as their new manager.

Middlesbrough are set to spark controversy this afternoon by appointing defender Gareth Southgate as their new manager.

Boro have called a press conference for 2pm when it is understood they will confirm the 35-year-old will be taking charge, even though he does not have the required UEFA pro-licence.

The League Managers’ Association are vehemently opposed to the possible elevation of Southgate but Boro believe a precedent has been set by Newcastle’s appointment of Glenn Roeder.

FA Premier League rules state people without the pro-licence can only take charge of a club for 12 weeks but the 20 club chairmen recently voted to allow Roeder dispensation.

Roeder had been enrolled on a pro-licence course in the past but was forced to withdraw due to illness. He will now take the year-long course in order to be fully qualified by the end of next season.

Boro argue Southgate has so far been unable to acquire all his coaching qualifications because of his successful playing career.

Chief executive Keith Lamb told the club’s official website, www.mfc.co.uk: “Middlesbrough and Gareth should not suffer because he has had such a successful career at club and international level.

“Until recently Gareth has spent his summers serving his country as a player. It makes little sense such players should be denied rare opportunities like the one he now has simply because he hasn't had the chance to gain the qualifications.

“Why not allow players of such ilk the chance to gain their badges while doing the job rather than making them wait?

“It is no coincidence many of the current crop of good young managers did not actually play at the highest level, so were able to concentrate on gaining coaching qualifications while many top stars were playing for their country.

“If that continues, the natural conclusion is most top British managers will have no experience of international football.”

Gibson has turned to Southgate, who won 57 caps for England, after talks with Terry Venables, Martin O’Neill and Alan Curbishley failed to bear fruit.

The LMA were angered by the Newcastle situation and will maintain their stance over the Southgate scenario.

LMA chief executive John Barnwell said: “They can’t do it, it’s as simple as that. Gareth Southgate may be working towards becoming a coach but at this stage he hasn’t got the necessary qualifications to do the job.

“I would reiterate this is not an LMA matter, it is a UEFA directive and an FA Premier League rule.”

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