League Managers' chief John Barnwell has backed Ron Atkinson's return to the game - providing Swindon boss Iffy Onuora is happy with it too.
Atkinson will arrive at the Coca-Cola League One outfit today to front a television documentary, 19 months after the racism slur which cost the former Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United manager his lucrative contract as a summariser for ITV.
High-profile black players such as Ian Wright and Robbie Earle have been damning in their condemnation of Atkinson, whose off-microphone comment about Marcel Desailly following Chelsea's Champions' League semi-final defeat to Monaco in 2004 was accidentally broadcast in Dubai and relayed around the world.
However, Barnwell believes Atkinson has served his punishment and will be welcomed back into the footballing fraternity with open arms.
"Ron made a big mistake," Barnwell said. "His remarks were totally unacceptable. But you cannot hang a man twice. He still has great respect for the game and the game still has a lot of respect for him.
"He achieved a great deal as a manager over a long period of time and, providing everyone at Swindon remembers Iffy is the manager and he is comfortable with it, Ron's experience can be a useful sounding board."
Atkinson's role has been funded by BSkyB, who will make a documentary about the 66-year-old's time at the County Ground titled Big Ron Manager.
Although he has not been involved in management since leaving Nottingham Forest in 1999, Atkinson will be given unlimited access at Swindon.
He says his arrival should not be seen as a Sir Clive Woodward-type football director's role but he will be there to offer Onuora guidance if required.
"I am not going there to do a Clive Woodward," he said. "Iffy is the manager and I am there if he needs me. Yes, it is a television project but I am taking this seriously."
Barnwell has not spoken to Onuora since Atkinson's arrival became known. However, he knows enough about the former striker, who was appointed caretaker-boss when Andy King was dismissed in September, to know he will not be intimidated by Atkinson's arrival even though Swindon remain bottom of League One.
Barnwell said: "Iffy prepared himself for football management in the best way he possibly could.
"He is a young man who seems to be making a decent fist of the job at a club working under incredible financial restrictions.
"If what Ron is saying about the situation is correct, it will be useful for Iffy to be able to tap into his thoughts. But the Swindon board must remember Iffy is the manager and not be tempted to go to Ron for advice instead."
Onuora has made it clear Atkinson will be restricted to his television duties at the County Ground.