Simon Clegg won’t be drawn on Alan Shearer rumours – but admits ‘high-profile individuals’ are on the list

IPSWICH Town owner Marcus Evans and chief executive Simon Clegg are working round-the-clock to find the right man to replace Paul Jewell.

Speaking exclusively to this newspaper this morning, Clegg said the list of potential applicants – numbered at 39 by the chief executive on Wednesday night – had increased over the last 36 hours.

But Clegg confirmed that the impressive total was slowly being whittled down, a process that started as soon as Paul Jewell’s exit was confirmed on Wednesday.

The Town chief executive would not be drawn on overnight rumours linking Alan Shearer to the club – with one school of thought being that the former Newcastle and England great is actually advising Evans rather than a managerial candidate.

Nor would Clegg discuss rumours that interviews could take place this weekend with an eye to making a new appointment before next Saturday’s trip to Birmingham.

“The numbers continue to increase with some high-profile individuals, both domestically and foreign,” Clegg said.

“It is a great job in football. I think people are attracted by the history of the club though when you look at the current league table, I don’t think they would come here just because of history.

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“They know they will get an owner and a chief executive who will not interfere in the day-to-day running of the football side.”

Clegg admitted he was disappointed with some reports that suggested that a short-list of replacements had been drawn up two weeks before Jewell’s departure.

But he added: “Marcus and I didn’t wake up on Wednesday morning and then start thinking about a replacement. That would make terrible business-sense.

“You have to brainstorm certain scenarios though the overriding thing is we wanted Paul to succeed.”

We understand that Clegg and Evans had already drawn up a list of around 20 potential names that they would consider for the position.

That number had almost doubled by the time Clegg spoke during Wednesday night’s heated supporters club AGM.