HATCHET MAN: Premier League clubs have a licence to break the rules, just ask Zola, Ince, and Southgate

Gianfranco Zola

Not qualified: Chelsea legend Zola

Gianfranco Zola is on the verge of joining a growing band of Premier League managers not qualified to do their jobs.

His unveiling as West Ham boss should be accompanied by confirmation that the Italian does not have the required UEFA Pro-Licence.

But that failing is becoming so commonplace in England that everybody takes it for granted that it won't be a problem.

It simply isn't an issue any more and the Premier League looks increasingly like a place where rules really are there to be broken.

The FA could challenge the League on the issue, but they are no better and have been happy to let things slide.

The licence was made 'compulsory' five years ago with those in jobs given until 2010 to achieve the qualification.

Since then, Glenn Roeder, Avram Grant, Gareth Southgate and Paul Ince have been given special dispensation to ignore the requirement - for years in the case of the Middlesbrough manager.

With Zola set to add yet another name to the list, it cannot really be called special any more and what the point of the requirement is remains a mystery.

The original idea was to raise the standard of English coaching and improve the chances of appointing someone brought up in the country to manage the national team.

But with Italian Fabio Capello in charge of England one has to wonder whether the Premier League and the FA have given up.

HATCHET MAN 2: Giovani gets tongue tied and admits he took the easy option at Spurs

HATCHET MAN 3: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson should go flippin' crazy if Nani takes his celebrations too far

HATCHET MAN 4: Arsenal can't be called Top Gunners if their players won't get on no plane, fool

HATCHET MAN 5: Robbie Fowler used to be hot property but he's wasting his time going to Blackburn

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