Saturday, June 06, 2009

Should our Leicester City writer be a Leicester City fan?

I had lunch yesterday with an old geek friend, Dan, who's also a massive football fan.

In the spirit of openness and amidst the furore around allowances, I'll declare that I was on a day's holiday and paid for the lunch myself and there won't be an expenses claim to cover it, despite the fact that we sat and talked for more than three hours almost entirely about work-related things. Oddly, he turned up with £18,000 in cash in a laptop bag ... but that's another story!

Inevitably the conversation got round to the fact that the Leicester Mercury is currently looking to replace our long-term football writer Bill Anderson who has retired after covering Leicester City for more than 30 years. I placed an advert on a web site called -it's a site I set up about 10 years ago - asking for applications from experienced football writers. We've been flooded with people wanting the job. Almost 140 have applied.

I don't know why I'm surprised - it's a great job if you're a football writer. You get to cover one of the bigger clubs in the football league on a day-to-day basis for one of the largest regional papers in the country. For a lot of people, it is a dream of a job.

I was commenting on how difficult it is to work down from 138 to a sensible short-list and the criteria we are using, when Dan asked: 'Are you looking for a Leicester City fan?'

I have to admit, that wasn't something that I'd thought about, but Dan was adamant that, as a football fan, he wanted his local newspaper writer to be a fan.

Was he right? Should the Mercury's next football writer be a Leicester City fan?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It would be nice to have a city fan but then most of the time city fans tend to have expectations or ambitions far beyond what they can achieve.

    An objective, realisitc fan or a general football fan with good knowledge of the team and history.


  3. Firstly, I thought our meeting was off the record - I wouldn't like it to be known that a) I was talking about Leicester City or b) that I had some pocket change in my laptop bag.

    Of course the job has to be given to a Leicester fan - if I was doing the job, as a Derby fan, I'd do all I could to cause trouble and unrest. Nothing new there I hear you mutter...

    I didn't know you paid for lunch personally - that makes me much happier - Darleys next time?

    Finally I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with your description of me - surely it should be "old, geek friend"? Your description makes me sound like Charles Babbage.

  4. It probably wouldn't matter too much if they suppported Celtic or even Chelsea, more so if they supported Derby or Forest!

  5. Doesn't matter who they support as long as they do the job of a professional journalist and write stories that sell newspapers


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