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 www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk -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?