This is an appeal on behalf of the football writers of Great Britain.
Each year, more than a dozen managers in the Championship lose their jobs; a further five from bottom-half Premier League sides will also be shown the door.
In every case, journalists must write a story linking several out-of-work managers with the vacant role. Sometimes this is not an easy task – the journalist must work against challenging deadlines, the increased demands of social media, and their own very strong desire to be at the pub.
Mercifully, for the past seven years, there has been Alan Curbishley.
Since leaving West Ham United in 2008, Curbs has been linked with every managerial vacancy between 13th place in the Premier League and 20th in the Championship. His name is like a blank Scrabble tile; his photo sits comfortably alongside any hurriedly-written text. Leeds United have sacked another manager? Alan Curbishley is linked. Another boss has walked away from Sunderland? Alan Curbishley is being considered for the role. Harry Redknapp has ruled himself out of the running to join Cardiff City? Alan Curbishley has never ruled himself out of anything.
It has never mattered if Curbishley or the club had any intention of talking – his name just fitted like a big warm jumper. It was easy for the journalist and felt reassuring to the reader.
Now, however, Curbishley is actually considering getting back into the management game.
The BBC reports that Curbs is weighing up the vacant role at Fulham. He had been an advisor to Kit Symons, who was sacked on Sunday, making the story all the more plausible. Concerns were raised further when Curbishley himself called the Fulham position "an attractive job."
For the sake of British sportswriting, this cannot be allowed to happen. Every year, Curbishley saves the average football journalist 17 working hours. That time can be channeled into writing quality, hard-hitting journalism; or, it can be spent in the pub.
Please, Alan – don't rob them of their time in the pub.