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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 13 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 25, 2007

Foxes end hunt with MK's 'Mad Dog' Allen

Leicester have ended their search for a new manager by appointing MK Dons chief Martin Allen, with the new boss vowing to restore pride and passion at the Coca-Cola Championship club.

Allen, who led the Dons to the League Two play-offs this season before losing to Shrewsbury in the semi-finals, takes over the Walkers Stadium hotseat having been given permission to talk to Foxes chairman Milan Mandaric earlier this week.

After signing a three-year contract, former Brentford boss Allen said: 'I feel honoured and privileged to be appointed manager of Leicester City football club.

'Having enjoyed some good times in the Conference, League One and League Two, I now feel ready to make the next step up and take on the challenge of getting this team to win matches and to see us fulfil the ambitions of our chairman and supporters.

'Along the way, we will have some fun, some laughs, and a few tears of joy and sadness.

'But I can see the stadium being sold out on a regular basis to fans who can enjoy supporting a team which has passion - and players who are proud to wear the shirt.'

Nigel Worthington and Neil Warnock were also on Mandaric's shortlist, with the former having guided the Foxes to Championship safety after taking over from sacked boss Rob Kelly for the last five games of the season.

But 41-year-old Allen has been given the job and has signed a three-year deal.

Mandaric told the club's official website: 'I believe Martin Allen's arrival at Leicester City is a significant appointment as the club prepare for widespread changes that will bring underachievement on the field to an end and ensure that we are a highly competitive team.

'Last season's campaign was painfully unacceptable and I made it clear from the outset that significant investment in the first team was a priority requirement if the club want to dispense with mediocrity and build towards success that will ultimately restore this club to its rightful place in top-flight football.'

The former Portsmouth supremo added: 'Martin's arrival is the first of many that will ultimately reshape the destiny of the club and restore belief that has been sorely missing in recent seasons.

'He was unquestionably the outstanding candidate to come before me and deserves the immense opportunity that awaits him.'

An MK Dons club statement broke the news and read: 'Milton Keynes Dons football club can today confirm the departure of Martin Allen as its manager.

'After the club granted permission for Leicester City to make an approach regarding their vacant managerial position, Martin has decided to accept the offer at the Walkers Stadium.

'The club will now begin the process of appointing a new manager to take the club forward into the most exciting chapter of its short history.

'After a successful first season in charge, it came as no surprise a club from a higher level was alerted to Martin's talents.

'We would like to thank Martin for his hard work and commitment during his time with the club and we wish him every success in the future.'