SAFC 10 YEARS AGO: Roy Keane gets all-clear to manage in Premier League

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Here’s what the Echo was reporting on Sunderland 10 years ago.

ROY KEANE has been cleared to manage in the Premiership – despite currently not having the infamous Uefa Pro Licence.

The Premier League demands that all managers have Europe’s top coaching qualification and there was controversy about former Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder and Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate getting special clearance to take charge without having the Pro Licence.

But, typical of Keane’s meticulous preparation, the Sunderland manager enrolled some time ago to take the Pro Licence course at Warwick University this simmer, having already gained the Uefa A coaching badge.

It means he will have completed the Pro Licence by the time the Premiership kicks-off on August 11.

A Premier League spokesman told the Echo:

“It is a requirement that Premier League managers hold the Pro Licence or are enrolled to gain the qualification.

“As Roy Keane is enrolled on a Pro Licence course, there will be no barrier to him managing in the Premier League.”

The are sceptics who question the value of the Pro Licence on top of the many coaching qualifications many managers possess. Sir Alex Ferguson does not have one.

But Keane is looking forward to another aspect of what will be a busy summer.

“I’ve got two coaching courses to go on, which I’m really looking forward to,” he said.

“It’s going to be quite busy. I go away on the Pro Licence at the end of June and it’s all part of the process you have got to go down.

“It’s got to be done if you want to manage in the Premiership.

“I know some people have found one or two ways around it, but I want to get it and I think the knowledge will be important to me.

“Getting these coaching qualifications doesn’t guarantee you anything, of course, but I want to get them.”

Despite the achievements and riches he achieved as a player, Keane was always driven by continuing his legacy in the game and started to prepare for the future early.

It is something he recommends to his players.

He said: “The players who are thinking about coaching or management should get the ball rolling early.

“A lot of players only think about these things when they retire and it can hold them back.

“I started enrolling on coaching courses probably three or four years ago.

“I’ve got my Uefa A and B badges.

“Some managers say that they can’t get anything from sitting in a classroom, but I have enjoyed the courses I’ve done and taken something from all of them.”


NIALL QUINN dodged interview opportunities yesterday signalling his desire to remain in the background in the wake of Sunderland’s promotion as Championship champions.

But while he was reluctant to take the limelight from his Championship winning players, he will be anything but a peripheral figure this summer as he looks to turn Sunderland into a Premiership force.

He has provided his manager with an initial transfer budget of £25million and is determined to ensure his manager gets value for money in the transfer market over the close season.

But he also intends to ensure there is a cash window if Roy Keane needs to boose the club’s top flight hopes.

He said: “Roy and Mick Brown, our chief scout, have identified their targets already.

“Our chief executive Peter Walker and myself will be doing everything we can to make sure the manager gets the signatures he wants.

“But to be honest I’m already looking to the January transfer window because as a chairman you have to be thinking six months ahead of wherever you are at the moment.

“I have to be ahead of the game and we have to be in a position to cover all eventualities.

“The manager will be looking to recruit next January I’m sure, so I’m already looking at that.”

Quinn is keen that Sunderland don’t try to run before they can walk and while he expects to make progress this summer he is acutely aware of where the club was 12 months ago.

He said: “We will always look back to where we were this time last year and so we must not get carried away with ourselves.

“We’ll be putting all our efforts into driving this club forward, but in football there are no promises.

“We can’t predict where we’re going to go with this, but that we can do is promise we will take it as far as we possibly can.

“All we can do is do our utmost to put the best structure in place and provide the back-up the manager needs. There’s nothing certain in football but we’ll give it everything.”