Michael Appleton Commits Future To City

Fresh off the back of speculation linking him with another job, Michael Appleton has committed his future to Lincoln City, as announced at the club’s AGM.

Michael initially joined the club on a three-and-a-half-year deal which ran until summer 2023. He has now penned an extension to that deal which sees him contracted to the club until the summer of 2025.

Predictably, Imps Chairman Clive Nates is delighted to keep Michael at the club, telling the official site: “I am delighted that Michael has signed a new contract through to 2025. “The successful transformation of the squad and a promotion push in his first full season is remarkable, even more so considering the curtailment of last season and a significantly lower pro budget.”

Remarkably, Michael has the third-best win ratio of any manager since the Second World War (45.61%), having competed at a higher level than the two managers with slightly better records. With performances on the field looking good, results coming in and a young squad ripe for development, it could be argued he is doing an utterly remarkable job.

I loved this moment – Courtesy Graham Burrell

Of course, signing a new deal protects us a little from bigger clubs wanting to take our manager, but it isn’t the protection it affords that I like, it is the message it sends out. Michael will be very hot property if he keeps doing the job he is doing, but this tells the world he is happy here.

I’ll confess, I was worried this weekend. The Bristol City rumour seemed plausible and despite the fake news surrounding the speculation,  just felt ill-at-ease. I guess I still feel a little burned by the rumours that grew into a move back in September 2019, and I understand football moves very quickly. I should have taken a step back and a deep breath though because our situation is different now.

Michael is different too. He has been in the Championship and been burned by job-hopping too, and sadly he still gets tarred with that brush, not praised for his work with us and Oxford. If he were to step away from the club, it could be the last chance saloon in terms of the next level. If he takes us into the Championship and maybe even keeps us there, he will be rightly credited with being the strong coach and manager that he is. This deal works well for us as a club, and us as fans, but it works well for Brand Appleton too. It shows commitment, stability and focus, attributes that will eventually take him to the next stage of his career.

Brand Appleton and Brand Lincoln have similar aims – Credit Graham Burrell

The delightful news is that the next stage shouldn’t be before 2025, and that makes me a happy man. We’ve just recorded the podcast and on it we talk about how this news (and any other which might follow), caps off a tough week for the club – a tough week that brought a win against the 2013 FA Cup Winners, an average of two points per game, and saw us remain in the automatic promotion spots at the right end of League One.

The very fact that our expectations have risen to that being a supposedly ‘tough’ week tells you exactly why each and every Lincoln City fan should be raising a glass to the Big Apple this evening.

Up the Imps!