Football: Coppell warns Walker against Norwich walk-out: Stalemate at Carrow Road as Everton wait for new manager - Gerry Francis is England's second choice

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The Independent Online
MIKE WALKER was yesterday warned by Steve Coppell, the new chief executive of the League Managers' Association, that it would be unwise for him to walk out on Norwich City and take the vacant manager's job at Everton. The LMA is currently involved in discussions aimed at making it impossible for a manager to work at a new club if he leaves a job where he is under contract.

'Our advice to Mike is that he must think very carefully about breaking his contract,' Coppell said, after speaking to Walker yesterday. 'We could never advise a manager to break his terms of employment. If it happens, you can see a situation where there would be total anarchy, with managers moving all over the place.'

Walker is wanted by Everton, but Norwich have refused to give the Goodison club permission to talk to their manager. Walker and Robert Chase, the Canaries' chairman, met for about an hour last night, but the situation remains uncertain. 'I reiterate that I would like the opportunity to talk to Everton,' Walker said.

To stop the situation recurring, the LMA wants contracts to be registered with the Premier League and the Football League. Then, say, if Walker walked out, Norwich would retain his registration and he would not be able to work.

Walker's players have appealed to him to stay at Carrow Road. Their captain, Ian Butterworth, said: 'We think we have something good going with Mike Walker, and we want that to continue.'

Queen's Park Rangers' Gerry Francis will be the Football Association's choice to manage England if it decides against Terry Venables. The former Tottenham chief executive is the clear favourite but, if the FA is not satisfied that he is clear of allegations surrounding Spurs' financial dealings, then it would turn to Francis.

Rick Parry, the Premier League chief executive, said last night that the findings of his committee's inquiry into Tottenham's affairs will not be made public until next week at the earliest.

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