ROTHERHAM United look to have made Steve Evans the No 1 target to become their next manager.
I believe the Crawley Town boss has been identified by Millers chairman Tony Stewart as the leading choice from the short-list they had drawn up.
Evans, the fiery Scot with a controversial past, took Crawley into the Football League last season and has them challenging for automatic promotion from League Two where they are currently lying third.
Stewart would have to seek permission from Crawley to approach Evans and speak to him and is understood to be considering such a move if he hasn’t already done so.
Early on in the selection process, which followed the sacking of Andy Scott, Stewart said he did not discount looking at managers currently in a job and was willing to stump up compensation if he felt such a target was the right man.
It is seen as a very attractive job at this level with Rotherham moving into a new ground, the New York Stadium, in time for next season and Stewart having a reputation as a chairman who gives the fullest backing to his managers.
It would come as no surprise if Evans found such attention in him for a job like this as appealing.
When Rotherham played at Crawley two weeks ago – just days after the Scott departure – Evans described Rotherham as a ‘very progressive club’ led by ‘an outstanding chairman’. He had clearly been taking note.
Stewart has been determined to get promotion and had desperately sought it in time for the club moving to their new ground next season.
After the long-term project he initially undertook with Scott, who changed things behind the scenes, Stewart says the priority is now to ensure they get promotion next season and the search appeared to swing towards those who have success on their CVs.
Evans had two promotions with Boston United, the second of them into the Football League in 2002.
However, the FA launched an investigation into Boston’s financial affairs, notably what were termed ‘contract irregularities’, with the club fined and having points deducted. Among other matters arising from that, Evans was banned from football for 20 months.
He returned as Boston manager in 2004 but a criminal investigation was launched into previous matters of tax evasion at Boston culminating in a Crown Court trial at which Evans, having initially pleaded not guilty, changed his plea to guilty at the last minute and received a 12 month suspended sentence. A co-accused, the former club chairman Pat Malkinson, received a two-year suspended sentence.
Evans quit as Boston manager in 2007, after they were relegated back out of the league, and he then took over at Crawley a few days later.