Date: 2nd May 2006 at 2:43pm
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FA chief executive Brian Barwick and his colleagues have become a laughing stop following Luiz Felipe Scolari’s decision to withdraw from the race for the England job. But this sort of thing has been going on for decades.

How can we forget when fan’s-favourite Brian Clough tried for the job, was asked if he had A-levels, and he put all his medals – including two European Cup winners medals – on the table? ‘These are my A-levels’, said Clough. ‘That’s not what we’re looking for’, came the reply!

Toon chairman, however, says he understands the pressure on the FA, as he himself is set to appoint his fifth manager under his reign as chairman.

Shepherd: ‘I have every sympathy with Brian Barwick and the FA because I know just how hard it is to pick a new manager. It’s not easy to get the right guy and quite rightly so, every football fan, whether they support England or Newcastle, has an opinion.

‘These days, it’s a lot easier for the fans to express their opinions and that makes it all the more difficult for the people in charge.’