As Leicester City launched "a full internal investigation" into the events in Spain that yesterday led to three players being remanded in custody, the club gave their full backing to Micky Adams. The Leicester manager, who had lobbied in favour of the benefits of a warm-weather training break at La Manga, was reportedly "distraught" that the trip had become a nightmare for the club, raising questions about his future.
Paul Dickov, Frank Sinclair and Keith Gillespie were last night being held in Sangonera jail, outside the city of Murcia, following accusations of sexual assault against three German women. Six other players have been released on bail or without charges. Paul Mace, Leicester's spokesman, said he hoped that the detained trio would be released within the next few days. It is still unclear how long they might have to remain in Spain or whether the potential charges against them, of "sexual aggression", will lead to a trial.
While most of the Leicester squad had travelled back to the Midlands and resumed training by yesterday morning, Adams remained in Spain. "Micky is an old-fashioned manager who stands by his players, and works very closely with his players," Mace said. "He has been in constant touch with the relatives and families of the players themselves to try to reassure them at every possible opportunity. It has come as a very big shock to him, as it has to all of us at the football club."
Mace insisted that Adams had the support of everyone at the club, including the board. "There is inevitably considerable pressure being exerted on everyone involved with the football club and it is something that each and every one has to deal with," he said. "It is not about individual personalities; we are all in it together. Micky Adams has the full backing of the board of directors and everyone at this football club."
It is understood that Adams has made no attempt to hand in his resignation over the affair, nor does he intend to do so in the near future. Ironically, the crisis might actually see him staying at Leicester for longer than might have been the case had it not happened.
Adams has been feeling the pressure of his job and has also been considering his position. The recent arrival of Steve Cotterill to join the coaching staff has not made him feel any more settled. Yet walking away now would be doubly troubling both for Adams and for Leicester. Rather than being interpreted as taking the honourable course of action, it might be seen as running away from responsibility - something Adams would never countenance. Secondly, it might be construed as showing a lack of support for the accused.
Uncertainty will overshadow footballing matters until the fates of Dickov, Sinclair and Gillespie are known. Dickov, Leicester's second highest scorer this season, would be the most missedif he were absent for any length of time. The effect of the week's events on the team's morale events can only be guessed at. But such details will remain a distraction until the direction of the far more serious events in Spain become clear.
Speaking about Leicester's internal investigation, Mace promised that "no stone would be left unturned". He added: "We are treating this matter very seriously. That investigation will have to run alongside any investigations that are being undertaken by the Spanish authorities."
In regard to the decision to go La Manga, where the club had previously experienced trouble, he added: "Obviously things have not worked out according to plan ... Our first priority is to get the players back over to England."
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