Date:Thursday March 9 2006
Mike Newell to be appointed Leicester City manager come the summer says BBC Sport's gossip column with about as much logic as the idea of the Walkers becoming a distillery.
Luton manager Newell was originally a popular favourite among fans to take over from Craig Levein but he was interviewed at least twice and, for whatever reason, was not even asked to steer City out of the relegation mire.
Since then Luton's results have been close to abyssmal. They have won just three of 11 matches in 2006, losing seven and drawing once. They've taken 10 points from 30 in the League.
Meanwhile Rob Kelly and co were given the Leicester reins and have collected two points a game and 14 points overall out of 21 to lift the club as far clear of the relegation zone as anyone could reasonably have hoped - eight points but effectively nine if you allow an extra one for the goal difference.
Kelly knows the set-up, knows exactly who will need replacing among his playing staff come summer, is demonstrably popular among those players and would not be the subject of compensation if his managerial appointment were extended.
So barring a catastrophic reversal of form which somehow resulted in Leicester returning to relegation row, what would be the logic in appointing Newell?.
What Board of Directors would ship out a popular man who has all-but rescued the club from potential lower league oblivion without spending a single penny on the purchase of additional players?
Any notion of Newell coming to Leicester would suggest some significant cash input being available because one reason Newell might move from Luton is his belief that there isn't enough money available to push his team up to the Premiership.
But Leicester appear to be financially no better placed just now. And, even with an investor's input, why back Newell with money rather than someone who's been successful with nothing?
Many fans feel that Leicester don't need another managerial upheaval or the dismantling and rebuilding of the side with all the risks that would entail.
They believe that City need to put some more bricks on the solid foundations that have been laid and that Kelly and co are the best people to do that.
The Board might well insist that effort is made to make the team more entertaining because there are 10,000 empty seats in the ground most weeks and that represents some £4m of potential revenue per season being squandered. Even 5,000 more on the gate would be a financial godsend.
But, although Kelly has been fairly cautious in his team selection so far, the introduction of loanee winger Andy Welsh recently sugggests that he recognises the need for greater penetration in attack.
He has already established a productive first choice strike partnership of Kelly and Fryatt where non existed previously, has moved Kisnorbo to a far more suitable position at centre-back and doubtless will turn his attention to other areas as time goes on.
With his team going forward and Luton apparently moving backwards why would anyone risk the consequence of dramatic change?.
And it wouldn't be comfortable for anyone taking the job on either. The fans are delighted with Kelly's efforts.
Without doubt, they would vehemently oppose any change and that opposition would quickly escalate if anyone else came in and results went into reverse.
A name has been mentioned as a potential alternative manager in the event of major administrative change in the summer but it is not Newell's and would not involve compensation payments.
But at this stage and for the forseeable future, there's not a single reason why any new manager would or should be considered.
And lots of reasons - financial and footballing - why the club should stick with what they've got.
But the speculation will all add spice to Saturday's Championship game at Luton.
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|20. Leicester City||26||4||6||16||-18||18|
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