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Allardyce rumours causing problems

Of course, all of this may simply be the result of a number of journos putting two and two together, but the early morning rumours that Sam Allardyce was to quit his position at Bolton at the end of the season certainly sparked a chain of events that left a lot of people none too happy.

As well as quitting Bolton, the story was that Allardyce had some sort of principle agreement in place to take over at City in the summer, and had been given the nod by Ray Ranson that the job if/when his takeover was completed.

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside, who undertandably was irked as that it appears as though his highly successful manager was set to move onto pastures new - and to a club he has previously described as not being bigger than Bolton. This has apparantly led to Gartside making a complaint with the current City board over Ranson's actions. The current City board are believed to be unhappy that there name is being dragged into all of this.

Stuart Pearce meanwhile came out fighting in his post match interview, stating that he was the best man for the job and the board were right behind him and he was looking to build further in the summer. Interestingly, in addition he believed that there were 'seven or eight' managers who would go before him.

This could lead to problems for Ray Ranson. It is believed that his bid and plans for the club do not meet with unanimous approval at board level (who seemingly favour one of the American consortiums), and this potential negative press may not endear him to those doubters. Whilst not publicly commenting, stories appeared yesterday which suggested Ranson had not contacted Allardyce regarding the managers post.

On the back of all of this - adding a further twist, there were reports yesterday that the former-Thai PM, Thaksin Shinawatra was set to make a £108 million bid for the club after all, having previously suggesting stories linking him to the club were 'rumours'.

Interestingly, one man who has remained quiet on all of this is Allardyce himself. He did not speak to the press following Bolton's 2-2 draw at Chelsea. If he indeed has told Bolton he will leave at the end of the season then there will certainly be a number of sides interested in his services.

After establishing Bolton in the Premiership and now having them consistently challenge for the European places perhaps he feels he cannot take the side any further, and is ready to take step up in terms of the job challenge and also the potential involved at another club.

I believe we could be the front-runners, although even a quick look at the Premiership table suggests the likes of Newcastle, perhaps even Tottenham as well would be interested.

I remember back to a couple of seasons ago when the first Allardyce rumours surfaced, I was against the idea of Allardyce being in charge - dismissing him as a 'long ball merchant', but for what he has achieved the past couple of seasons shows he is one of the top managers around and crucially, he is able to get the best out of the players he has and can implement a sound game plan. I also believe that as time has progressed and he has brought more quality into Bolton, he has refined their approach a little and they are less reliant on the direct approach.

Whilst it may be all speculation at this point, it does seem there is some substance at least to this story. For me, if Allardyce is available, then regardless of who the ownership group is we should pull out all the stops to get him.