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07:20 12th May 2014

by Norwich City Football Club

CEO addresses key issues after relegation

NORWICH City’s Chief Executive David McNally gave an exclusive interview on a wide-range of topics after the Club’s relegation to the Championship was confirmed on Sunday.

Here we bring you McNally’s in-depth thoughts on seven key issues facing the Canaries…

McNally on relegation…
“We’re all at the end of the season gutted, disappointed, deeply frustrated and I have to say quite embarrassed that this great football club has suffered relegation. It’s not what the fans deserve, and it’s not what we expected this year. As far as blame is concerned, as the board we recognise that we’ve made mistakes, no doubt about that. I would say of course that we’ve made plenty of mistakes in the good years, but the mistakes this year have not helped because we suffered the disaster of relegation.

McNally on his and the board’s future…
“The first thing to say is that if I thought for one moment that me leaving would help this football club, I wouldn’t hesitate. I care too much about Norwich City having been here for five years, and invested a lot of time and effort in this great Club. I love this Club. I also am very pragmatic, and I know that if I felt it was in the Club’s best interests for me to leave then I wouldn’t hesitate. I don’t think that’s in the best interests of the Club at the moment. I think we’ve built quite a strong Club in many aspects.

"We’re now debt-free, we’re under no pressure to sell any player, we’ve got best-in-class people in off the field positions doing brilliant jobs for this football club, and that’s all been built in the last few years. I think that we’ve got an opportunity to leverage that. The other reason is that the board is united. We are absolutely up for the fight of trying to get the Club back to the Premier League as quickly as we can. We aim to do that by being competitive, and we’re following a process of bringing in a manager who will take the Club forward."

McNally on timing of managerial change…
“It’s one of those things that you’ll never be able to know. Let’s not forget that there were certain clamours for Chris (Hughton) to go at points throughout the season, but when was the right time, particularly when we’ve invested more money that we’ve ever spent in the summer transfer window? For me, that’s probably one of the key reasons why we’ve had such a disappointing season. In the five years that I’ve been involved with this great football club, we’ve always improved the squad in the summer transfer window, but that hasn’t happened this year despite the seven signings and record investment and smashing the transfer record a few times.

"That didn’t happen, we didn’t improve the squad last summer with our investment, that’s clear. Of course, I do understand supporters saying change the manager, and they may well have been right with the benefit of hindsight, but of course that’s only a viable consideration if you have a plan B. The best times to change a manager and to look at fundamental reshaping of the management team at the football club is during the close season. If we go back to last summer, we finished 11th in the Premier League with the 20th biggest payroll in the league. Those are the facts. We over-performed last year with the financial investment, that’s it, so Chris did a good job and most Norwich City supporters accepted that he deserved another go this season.”

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McNally on candidates for the manager’s job…
“We’ve got a shortlist. We’ve got people that we’re talking to and people that we’ve spoken to. Neil Adams is a credible, serious contender, but we are talking to other people. It’s not a long list, it’s a short list, and we aim to be through that process quickly. There are three or four names on that list, and I’m sure there will be certain candidates come up because they’re seen as being available, but we don’t look at it necessarily like that. There may well be managers who we’re talking to who may well be available, and there may be others who are at other football clubs, so out of respect to them we’ll certainly keep things private and confidential.

McNally on the future of the playing squad…
“Every player has a relegation clause in their contract, which means there will be a relegation impact on their salary, with no exceptions. Equally though, there is no player that can walk out with a sweetheart clause on relegation, so we’re under no pressure whatsoever to sell anybody. I would expect us to trade, so I do expect some players to leave during the summer, but they’re probably the players that we think are best served furthering their careers elsewhere because we’ll need to bring in some better players to make this Club much stronger. We can’t afford to get this window wrong in the way that we got last summer’s transfer window so horribly wrong.”

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McNally on support for the new boss…
“We’re going to look at our football management structure again, to ensure that we are focussing the football manager on managing the first-team and coaching the first-team. We’ll strengthen the structure so we’re not at the mercy of a manager on all things to do with our future. We will look at how we can ensure that if we do need to strengthen, then that’s what we do. I think we’re having a good look at it this week. We’ll announce in due course, probably around the time that the manager is in place which is a sensible time to firm up on the management structure, but I do think there are perhaps one or two individuals here where too much of the weight of the key decisions of the football club rest on their shoulders.”

McNally’s message to the supporters…
“We win together, we lose together, and so we are very fortunate that we’ve got the best supporters who have followed us in their thousands across the country again, and I’m sure they’ll do the same next season as we attempt to take the Club forward again. Our message to them is thank you for your support and we’re really sorry that we got it wrong this year.”

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