Claude Le Roy
Le Roy

Cambridge United unveiled their new manager Claude Le Roy on Tuesday 23rd March 2004, despite the fact that the Frenchman insisting that he was only at the Abbey Stadium as an assistant.

"I've signed nothing with Cambridge - one of my former assistants is there to assess the situation and I said I'd pay a visit next week" said Le Roy at the time.

Despite the mix-up, an informal deal will certainly keep the French manager at the club until the end of the season, when he will be reportedly be offered a two-year contract if the Us avoid relegation.

Le Roy's playing career spanned 15 years: 12 of those spent playing in the top flight of the French league where he won a European cup medal with the Normandy club Rouen in 1969.

Le Roy has extensive managerial experience and began his coaching career with Amiens in 1980. Since then he has managed Grenoble, Shanghai, Strasbourg and Paris St-Germain - whom the Frenchman led to a domestic cup double. Le Roy is also an ex-technical director of AC Milan.

Le Roy has also recently been working as a football pundit for the satellite TV company Canal Plus. It is believed that a commitment to a current contract with Canal Plus is the reason that the manager is currently living between Paris and Cambridge.

The French manager has also achieved great success as a national coach, perhaps most famously with Cameroon. In 1985 he led the Lions to the runners up spot in the African Nations Cup; three years later he went one better by winning the 1988 competition. During a second spell as manager a decade later, he led Cameroon to the 1998 world cup finals. Le Roy has also managed Senegal, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.

Le Roy wields considerable influence on the world football scene and his many contacts would seem to offer Cambridge United, who are figthing relegation from the Third Division, mouthwatering prospects for the future.

"We have secured the services of one of the most respected managers in Europe, if not the world," said Gary Harwood, the U's chairman. "This is possibly the most exciting appointment the club has made in its entire history."

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