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Irish League managers have safest jobs in Europe: UEFA

By Laure James

Northern Ireland has emerged as the safest haven for managers in Europe and has come up trumps in a UEFA model which is used to assess financial stability.

According to the governing body, coaches in the Irish League enjoy greater job security than any other country in Europe.

The report shows that only eight per cent of clubs in Northern Ireland changed coach in 2014/15 - joint top with Finland.

The average age of Irish League managers in the top division is the lowest in Europe according to the report with an average age of only 40.6 according to figures from August, comfortably below the second lowest of FYR Macedonia with 42 and way below England which is the second-highest with 52.

The Danske Bank Premiership is also the latest league to try end of season play-offs for the final Europa League place, joining Greece, the Netherlands and Wales.

Currently, the most common squad limit within 16 top European leagues is 25 players, supplemented in many cases with an unlimited number of B-list youth players.

Northern Ireland boasts the smallest limit, regulating a cap of 20 senior players.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: "The success story of football as a cultural and commercial force stands out once more.

"It shows that UEFA's regulatory role in financial fair play has not only steadied the ship of European finance but also provided the framework for unprecedented growth, investment and profitability."

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