Your favourite worst nightmare: Imps set to lose management duo

Courtesy Graham Burrell

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems highly likely that Danny and Nicky will be leaving Lincoln City this afternoon.

It’s been the talk of the weekend and whatever we may or may not feel about last week’s denial, there does seem to be strong evidence that the club are bracing themselves for a departure. You know me; I don’t write something unless I’m convinced it’s going to happen.

I’m convinced it’s going to happen.

I’ll deal briefly with the rumours; on Friday from three different sources I heard that they’d said their goodbyes to several key staff who wouldn’t be at the game this weekend; these weren’t just mumblings, they gave specific names of people who had been spoken to. On the back of that, I felt the players looked a little distracted against Wycombe and Danny didn’t give his usual in-depth interview. I felt strongly that something was amiss.

National reports are beginning to surface that they’re close to signing a huge deal with Huddersfield, one that will not just increase their wages, but make them incredibly wealthy, incredibly quickly.

Plus, Huddersfield are fresh out of the top flight and there will be money to spend in the winter window. They’re a club with a good history, Premier League football and going back further titles and FA Cups.

It still hurts though. A lot.

I’m employed to write about football and this morning I’ve had to write two articles about the situation. Honestly, it’s felt like I’ve been writing an obituary for a family member. I feel a little numb.

Sadly, for those who still don’t believe it is happening, I’m perhaps the bearer of bad news. The Lincolnshire Echo have started a live blog on th situation; what does that tell you? Michael Hortin, in replying to someone on Twitter last night, said he didn’t ask about the Huddersfield job because he didn’t expect a different answer at that stage, implying he does now.

I didn’t want to believe it, but I do now. 100%.

This is the day we’ve been dreading. It’s not the end of the world, nor the end of the club. We’re a League One side with a good financial footing and a strong squad. We’re in a great position to build, but we might experience a hiccup during the transitional period.

More will be revealed as the day progresses, that’s almost without doubt. Personally, I’m going to find it very hard to write about it for an hour or two as the reality sinks in, but rest assured if they do go then there is still Lincoln City. They’ve been great servants to this club, bringing a spell of unparalleled success, but I support Lincoln City FC, not Danny and Nicky Cowley FC. I wouldn’t begrudge them the chance to go to the next level, they’ve earned it and our club has been transformed as a result.

More as it breaks.


  1. Top Top Blokes and Families,i am absolutely gutted However i wish them All the Very ,Very Best and All the Luck in the World.

  2. I always thought when the inevitable happened and they left I would wish them well. They moved their family to Lincoln to, as they said, be closer to the club. A small part of me thought it was probably good planning for more job oppertunites closer by. But I thought I would look for their scores and see how they did. They were different. They were winners, fiercely competitive and knew how to get ahead. But they were gentlemen, always with time for people. But it is this from Tuesdau that is going to make we want them to fail horribly with Huddersfield. And I am sorry if that makes me small and petty.

    “We had the opportunity to speak to Huddersfield and decided it wasn’t the right time.

    “We’ve got full respect for Huddersfield. It was nothing to do with them as a football club, it was just the timing and the role we’re in. It’s a role we’re very committed to. It’s a club we’re very proud to be a part of.”

    Committed? Nah, the fans are. We stay. Bob Dorrian is, he gives up bundles of cash when all around him are giving him Dog’s abuse. He goes when the time is right. We are in a much better place now with Clive holding the baton with the board. And in Liam Scully we have someone who has turned things around off the pitch. We will still thrive

    • Well said JR. I remember wanting Watford to fail when Graham Taylor left us to join Elton John’s project. It’s natural for us fans to feel that way, for a while. But of course Graham didn’t fail and I don’t believe Huddersfield will fail if Danny & Nicky go there. Let’s wish them well – they’ve given us three of the best years of our lives and left us with a club that’s well placed to attract another great management team. Up the Mighty Imps, for ever and ever Amen.

  3. As far as I’m concerned if this is true then regardless of how nice the Cowleys are and what they’ve done for the club it just demonstrates that the £££s that is football today has been perused once again regardless of honouring the in place contract. The Cowleys have done a lot for the club…what about what the club and fans have done for the Cowleys!!??
    They are just proving that they are dishonourable like so many others in football. When I build teams in the business world if anyone doesn’t want to be there then they are quickly shown the door so good riddance and we will see just how long they last elsewhere!!!!

  4. This is disappointing and clearly money talks. They have, with the Board, resurrected our team and given us great days. No doubt Huddersfield will have to compensate us- enough to tempt the architect of Saturday’s defeat?
    I wish Danny and Nicky well and hope the owner at Huddersfield is a man of his word. My post yesterday quoting someone who has written a book about Huddersfield casts doubt on that.

  5. Good luck to them. We as a club are in a very good position to recruit a top quality replacement. It isn’t without risks but there is no reason why we shouldn’t continue this amazing journey without them.

  6. I genuinely wish them well – and who wouldn’t turn down a reported 10x salary increase? I am really intrigued as to how much impact they can have in a very different situation. The situation at Lincoln was definitely unique – they have been able to build almost from scratch – the training ethos, new facilities, the ‘sports science’, nutrition, the atmosphere amongst the players, ability to attract quality loan players – youth and experience, relationship with the fans and the city, a supportive and well managed board with limited internal politics and interference. The latter of these points are not the case at any of the clubs they have been linked with over the last year!
    Thanks Danny and Nicky, you have given Lincoln City a great platform and helped the City (and fans further afield) believe again!

  7. Strange times indeed,if it is to be I wish them well and thank them for all that they have done for this football club and this wonderful city I am proud to call home.
    However it is the timing – always thought they would go in between seasons to build a club like they did with us and also the club Huddersfield are really not a real big club yes with some potential, I could have understood Sheffield Wednesday huge untapped potential and somewhat closer to Lincoln.
    It has to be for money sadly and while I do not begrudge them and their families their future the league tables suggest the clubs could be changing places at the end of the season had they have stayed as I think the Imps are an unfinished project at this time

    Really Really Bad Timing – I just hope we get a compensation package to cover their departure.

    A sad Imp but the club goes on UTMI

    • The only potential positive on the timing is that without them through the Summer transfer window, I don’t think we would have been able to attract some of the players that we have. Let’s hope that the new management can continue to build that reputation

      • YEs, but now we have players that the new man might not want. Eg a lack of centre backs and strikers but an excess of attacking midfielders.

        That is also why I am annoyed, going midway after building a squad

        • Totally agree with Jr, where does that leave the playing squwwho have built such trust in the brothers only to have the rug pulled from under their feet.. It stinks, what price loyalty now!!!!

          • At least they are not all signed up on long expensive contracts like the Chris Sutton spell. I agree, should have one more central defender (I think it is a push to expect that Max could cover, even with his height) and one more striker (keeping Rheady would have been fantastic – he could even have played an interim role now alongside JM!) A lot of the squad are young, but I hope they have not been promised or are naive to expect any long term loyalty from managers. If we are feeling unsettled now, just wait till January!

  8. looks like it’s the end of our great journey then… Sad…

    Bit shocked to be honest . It was not the right move few days ago and now it is. …What shocked me even more that they are leaving now in the middle of the season. It’s not like them is it ?

    Looks like really big money was put on the table.

    If all that is true than it will be a massive decision for the board to replace Danny. Critical moment for the future of the club….

  9. Money always talks. They have ambitions far above Lincoln City. Who can blame them? I always thought this would be their last season with us. With Clive holding the reins and his investments I am hopeful that can recruit well and the compensation can be used well.
    Any news on the ‘back room staff’?

  10. I said quite cynically some time ago he would be off soon given the right incentive.
    I just hope he has been told by the board. They won’t take any players from us till at least the summer window. How many of his support staff will he want to take with him. Its not just him and his brother we are in fear of losing. Would McCombe or Shackell be the men to step into breach temporarily. Sill its all conjecture despite the news being in the high % of truth.
    Well bye bye Championship future.
    Up the Imps

  11. They remain a work in progress…. not sure that from a purely footballing point of view they were ready, but they have taken advantage of their current popularity and are cashing in. They know how fickle this business is. Do I blame them? Not at all? They have struck while the iron is hot!

  12. So gutted..but I really cannot blame them… a life changing amount of money, and a chance to get into the very big time. Yet Im sure it was a conflicted decision… Lincoln, in the short term are in a slightly akward position.. but the long term looks far better than we ever imagined 3 years ago. Danny and Nicky owe us nothing.
    We have a fantastic Squad, a fanbase significantly larger than any of us imagined, and excellent training facilities. There are other good managers out there… if we appoint one the journey continues.

  13. It’s a sad day, totally gutted. However, from what I’ve read, althought the money would turn anybody’s head, DC &NC have move because Huddersfield came back with an improved offer in terms of responsibilty and potential funds. I hope they’ve made the right decision for their careers, and I wish them every succcess and a heartfelt thanks for the last 3 and a bit years.

    Any criticism of their decision is very small minded. Look at where we were, where we are now. There have been other changes which hopefully will make thes next few months a transition, not a step back as per 1977, we are in a better place and have a better board to sustain the club’s progress.


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