Friends with benefits

I’ve come home from a day at the office to find an interesting article from the Lincolnshire Echo regarding comments made by Clive Nates about the search for a new manager. I know some of you won’t go on the Echo website due to the intrusive adverts, but the basic premise was that appointing the right manager could bring potential investors closer to the club, in other words get a good name here and people might think about pumping money in.

Now this may well be a throwaway comment made to the press, but as a keen blogger I feel it is my duty to delve a little deeper and suggest something the words may mean. Read in the way an enquiring mind reads them Clive’s thoughts may well suggest either Billy Heath or Simon Weaver are in the frame.

Firstly Billy Heath’s name has already been linked with the soon-to-be vacant managers slot. He’s done fairly well with North Ferriby over the last few years, success which he has maintained this season despite the owners Steve and Imam Forster looking to sell the club. In April 2015 they released a statement saying the support had effectively not matched the level of investment and they were pulling out. However manager Billy Heath certainly matched the investment with a 2015 FA Trophy win and being on the cusp of the National League.

Billy Heath. Nice jacket.


I think it’s fair to say that there is the possibility of a strong relationship between manager and owners, if this is the case are they on the lookout for a club with bigger ambition to take forward? If their exciting manager Billy Heath see’s Lincoln City as his next step, will they feel inclined to do the same?

The way Clive talks it seems he is pleased to have seen a certain name on the list. Would he be suitably aware of Billy Heath and the North Ferriby connection? If rumours are to be believed the Forsters have already been mentioned in relation to investing at Lincoln and therefore he may have been briefed on the situation already.

Secondly the article throws up the possibility of former Imp Simon Weaver. There’s no doubt that Clive will be aware of him with the club loaning players to Harrogate this season and Simon being an ex Imp. I understand Clive was a fan during the play off seasons so he’ll be well aware of who ‘Horse’ is. He was a part of a successful Lincoln team and would I’m sure be warmly received by fans, plus he’s up and coming having steered Harrogate to the brink of promotion.

What many people don’t know is that Simon Weavers Dad is minted, and I mean minted. He’s director of a company called Strata Homes based in York and has wealth that could certainly change a football clubs fortunes. He invested in Harrogate after Simon joined as manager and pumped a good amount of money into the club to push them on in search of success. Maybe there’s a thought that he could invest should we appoint Simon. A press release at the time of his investing suggested both felt awkward that the other was with the club, perhaps trying to avoid any notion that it was simply Dad helping out his boy. That obviously wouldn’t be the case, but maybe Irvine Weaver has a taste of football club investment now and wants to get behind a bigger project?

There is the down side to the Simon Weaver appointment though, Irvine is Harrogate based and he more than likely invested in his local club rather than just supporting his son. However if his appetite has been whet in Yorkshire there is a possibility that he wants a bigger club with more potential to invest.

Simon ‘Horse’ Weaver clearly distracted by something over your right shoulder.


It does seem to put yesterdays front runner David Preece down the pecking order. I’m not sure that his name would be the one Clive was hoping to read, unless he has been impressed by his demeanour and contribution at Lincoln. However I can’t see how David Preece would attract new investors to the club. I like him as a person and I think he’d make a good manager, but I can’t see how people with cash to invest would do so because our goalkeeper coach had stepped up to gaffer.

There will of course be more twists and turns. Steve Thompson has already suggested he feels aggrieved that his consistent application was ruled out by Bob wanting ‘up and coming’, and he took to twitter to list a succession of experienced managers (like Van Gaal…. go figure) as if that might change peoples minds. It won’t.

Of course it’s all speculation and conjecture at this point, and my little piece here will only add to the discussion and second guessing. However this appointment I think is as important as any since Keith Alexander, with so many factors to consider. When does a new manager ever take over at a team in which a continuation of somebody else’s work is needed? How often does that manager not only have to have football acumen, but also be impressive to potential investors? How often does the outgoing manager hope to have a say in who replaces him?

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