Royle 'rules himself out' of City return
CHRIS LAKEY Joe Royle has been ruled out of the running for the Norwich City hot-seat.The former Ipswich manager has been among the bookies' favourite to take over the role vacated by Peter Grant last week.
Joe Royle has been ruled out of the running for the Norwich City hot-seat.
The former Ipswich manager has been among the bookies' favourite to take over the role vacated by Peter Grant last week.
But sources close to Royle yesterday said the 58-year-old has no intention of making a bid to return to Carrow Road, where he spent two years as a player in the early 80s.
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The rumour mill that has been in full swing since Grant's departure eight days ago suggested Royle (pictured) had been approached by club officials, but the EDP understands that is not the case.
"There has been no contact between Joe and the club at all," said the source.
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Royle has been out of work since May last year when he was sacked by Ipswich after four years at the helm.
He was linked to the Carrow Road vacancy last year when Nigel Worthington was sacked, and this week's interest was inevitable, particularly after former assistant Willie Donachie became available after being sacked by Millwall.
Royle's decision to stay away from the game means City's options have been reduced further, with Glenn Hoddle yesterday joining Paul Ince as non-runners in the race to succeed Grant.
A spokesman for the Sport Entertainment & Media Group, who also represent former Wigan boss Paul Jewell - still rated the bookies' favourite for the job - said there was no truth in the story.
"I must tell you that what you read in the News of the World was nonsense and I don't know how it got there," said the SEM representative. "I am telling you it's a load of rubbish."
That may not unduly worry City fans given Hoddle's patchy record in club management.
The man who took England to the World Cup in France in 1998 has been out of football since leaving Wolves, his last job, in the summer of 2006 after they missed a play-off place by eight points.
Jewell, reportedly, has his sights set higher, with many pundits believing he could take over at struggling Bolton should Sammy Lee be sacked.
Kevin Keegan was a rank outsider but says he won't return to management, while Martin Allen has been linked with City, Port Vale and Gillingham.
Another club looking for a new manager today are League Two strugglers Notts County, who sacked Steve Thompson yesterday.
The 52-year-old former Sheffield United and Lincoln boss succeeded Gudjon Thordarson in June 2006 and guided the side to a comfortable mid-table finish in his first season in charge.
It has been a different story this season, however, as the Magpies have struggled to find any level of consistency and have yet to win away from home.
Successive comprehensive defeats at the hands of Bury, Hereford and Wycombe paved the way for Thompson's dismissal as County slumped to 19th place in League Two.