Sligo Rovers manager Liam Buckley has not been impressed by the rearranging of the deck chairs at Dundalk and believes that whoever is making the main football decisions at the club should hold a UEFA Pro Licence.

The Bit O'Red open their SSE Airtricity Premier Division campaign against Dundalk on Saturday and while there’s a familiar look to the Lilywhites managerial staff, their titles have changed. 

Filippo Giovagnoli who was in charge of Dundalk last season, does not hold a UEFA Pro Licence and as a result he was banned from the touchline in the Europa League and the club fined €50,000 for "shadow coaching". 

Ahead of the new season Dundalk announced that Shane Keegan, who does have a Pro Licence, is now the club’s manager while Giovagnoli will be a coach. Keegan said the team will be chosen by a number of staff members. 

Buckley however, remains far from convinced that these are meaningful changes.

"For goodness sake, we’re not stupid," he said. "Maybe we need to change the rules, maybe the club licensing needs to change.

"Fundamentally, you need to look at it in the cold light of day. From my end of it, I’m doing my own job. I have my Pro Licence, my assistant John Russell is doing his Pro Licence. 

"I’ve done my Pro Licence many moons ago and I think there’s upward of 100 Pro Licence coaches around the country and we have an obligation to make sure that every one of them is treated with the greatest of respect. 

"It’s up to the powers that be to make sure that everything is upheld from that end of it.

"The rules are in place for a reason at this minute in time, I wouldn’t be looking to change anything, we just need to respect them, that’s all, that’s what I’m basically saying. 

"I don’t know if anyone is breaking the rules or not breaking the rules." 

No matter the titles that the Dundalk staff are operating under, Buckley is in little doubt as to who is calling the shots at Oriel Park. 

"With the greatest of respect to Giovagnoli, he’s had a fantastic season last year," he said.

"He’s won the FAI Cup which is an achievement, qualified for Europe which is an achievement.

"He’s made the group stage of the Europa League, which is an achievement and also finished third in the league. 

"They are doing it whatever way they are doing it. They have a committee of people picking the team, or they’ve got two people picking the team, depending on what you read. 

"The management side of things and juggling around, I think we all know there is one person runs things there. 

"He has made the group stage and qualified again last year, they won the Cup, so we’re not going to be fooled into thinking anything other than he runs things there.

"Whatever way you want to look at it or twist it, he’s had a fantastic season last year - if they had anything like it again this year they’d be delighted." 

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