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25 May 2016

Club enlists leading head-hunting firm

CHAIRMAN Ed Balls says City will take a diligent and professional approach when selecting a new permanent Chief Executive to lead the Club.

Now that a short-term structure, designed to support manager Alex Neil in his planning for next season, is in place, work is fully underway to find a replacement for David McNally, who resigned earlier this month.

Mr Balls, speaking to, revealed that the Board has enlisted the services of leading global executive head-hunting firm Spencer Stuart to assist with the search.

“We’ve brought in a head-hunter with experience in hiring chief executives across all types of business, but with a particular speciality in the football market,” said Mr Balls.

“They’re currently head-hunting for the Chair of the Football Association and the Chief Executive of Liverpool, and they’re now working for us to bring in the best Chief Executive to take our football club forward.

“This is not something you can do quickly and lightly. We’re talking about somebody who’s going to come in and be part of the next era of Norwich City.

“This is as important a signing as any for this football club, and because of that you really do your job in a diligent and professional way.”

Mr Balls also confirmed that the Board wants to bring in somebody with experience of operating in football, as well as having the credentials to take ownership of the business.

“We are looking for somebody who’s got both a long-standing experience in the football world and football business, but also somebody who understands that when you’re running a business with more than 300 full-time people you have a much broader range of responsibilities,” he added.

“We’re confident we can fill that gap, and one of the things which we have done is talk a lot over the last week to make sure we have a clear view about who we want to get in. Doing this through a professional process will help us.

“The encouraging thing about our discussions with Spencer Stuart and the enquiries that have been coming into me and the club is that there’s a lot of interest. This is a really good job at a great club with strong ownership. There’s a real sense of togetherness and integrity, people like our values, so I’m really confident we’re going to make a good hire.”

Further detail was provided by Mr Balls on the interim foundations laid down to assist Neil, with the summer transfer window fast approaching ahead of the Canaries 2016-17 Sky Bet Championship campaign.

“There was an immediate gap that we had to fill,” he explained. “Straight at the end of the season, there are questions about contracts and about our plans for the summer window.

“In the discussions with Alex and his team, we were all clear that we had to hit the ground running and be ready from day one.

“What we’ve done is put in place an immediate structure which started work last week. With Steve Stone coming in as Interim Chief Executive, we have also brought in expertise from the outside, which means we have a Premier League quality team now to get us through this summer window.

“Obviously we’re not going to start letting our competitors know the details on how we’re doing things, but people can be confident that as we make the long-term decision on a new Chief Executive, in the short-term we’re really on the case.

“As Alex has said, he thinks we’ve got a good solution to deal with these immediate challenges and it’s obviously vitally important for our season that we get this right.”

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