I’ve made no secret of the fact that my favourite for the Imps job would be Gareth Ainsworth; he’s got Wycombe to the top of the table and would come with a ready-made reputation of his own, not needing to emerge from anyone’s shadow.
I believed he wouldn’t leave Wycombe, certainly not for Lincoln City. However, in a Totally Football League Show interview, he appears to open the door to a possible Imps’ switch. Just imagine that…
“I’m really happy at Wycombe, they’ve been so good to me,” Ainsworth told the Totally Football League Show.
“But of course, I’m ambitious. I want a club that has ambitions to play in the Championship, to be as high as they possibly can. I know Lincoln City have got that ambition. What the Cowleys have built in their time there – it’s just awesome.”
Awesome; yes it is Gareth. Perhaps you could come and have a closer look, maybe give Liam Scully a quick call?
“I’m open to everything. Wycombe have this potential. I’m really hoping that the fans understand that, unfortunately, money is needed in football and to progress, especially to the next level. It’s going to take some serious investment.”
That’s the crux of the issue here; we know Lincoln have been chasing additional investment. How close might that be? Could Gareth be willing to gamble that maybe, just maybe, Clive is about to come up trumps?
“We have people willing to put their money in. The fans love owning their own club and I understand that as well. But the ambition for me is to get into that Championship one way or the other.”
He confirmed there hasn’t been any contact as yet, but that he wouldn’t be averse to chatting to the Imps, if the call came in.
“At the moment there’s there’s nothing happening,” the Imps’ legend added.
“But I know that there’s plenty of rumours and it’s early days. I think Danny and Nicky only left on Monday, and it’s only Wednesday. So it’s a waiting game. I know that there’s plenty of interest and rumours and I think Wycombe would be open to letting me have a chat with people.”
I don’t know about you lot looking at this, but I hope Roger, Clive or Liam have stopped what they’re doing and Googled ‘Wycombe’s switchboard’ right now, because Gareth Ainsworth ticks all the boxes; great man manager, ready-made reputation, already been at this level for some time, up and coming, community man… need I go on?
This is it Lincoln City. This is the call to make. Last year we all thought football was coming home; this year it might be time for Sir Gareth to come home instead.