EXCLUSIVE: Norwich City managing director set for surprise Carrow Road exit

PUBLISHED: 06:02 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:38 09 October 2018

Steve Stone's departure as Norwich City managing director is set to be confirmed by the club. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Steve Stone's departure as Norwich City managing director is set to be confirmed by the club. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Managing director Steve Stone is leaving his role at Norwich City.

It is understood Stone, who was officially appointed to the Canaries board of directors in April, started indefinite leave last week and did not attend the 1-0 defeat to Stoke at Carrow Road on Saturday.

The club are yet to confirm or comment on the news, which comes with the Canaries’ annual accounts for the latest financial year up to June 30, currently being finalised ahead of their annual general meeting – expected to be held next month.

The surprise development will leave plenty of questions ahead of that shareholders’ meeting, coming at a time when the club appeared to be achieving some much-desired long-term stability behind the scenes.

Stone proved a popular figure among many fans, having been open-minded over introducing rail seats to Carrow Road and improving supporters’ matchday experience.

It remains to be seen whether City will seek to appoint a new managing director following Stone’s exit, or look for a further restructure.

Stone arrived as finance director in April 2015, replacing long-term predecessor Sam Gordon – however he was swiftly promoted to interim chief executive following the resignation of David McNally a year later, with City on the brink of Premier League relegation.

Stone’s recent role as managing director was created by the City board in March 2017 following the departure of the man who pipped Stone to becoming McNally’s permanent chief executive successor – Jez Moxey – while Alex Neil was also sacked as manager in the intervening period.

Stone’s appointment was accompanied by the creation of City’s sporting director role, which was filled by Stuart Webber a few weeks later – although only Stone was handed a place on the City board.

Steve Stone, right, and Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber led the launch of the Canaries bond to help fund the redevelopment of City's Colney Training Centre. Picture: Denise BradleySteve Stone, right, and Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber led the launch of the Canaries bond to help fund the redevelopment of City's Colney Training Centre. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Canaries have embarked on a series of cost-cutting to their playing budget as they adjust to life outside the Premier League and without parachute payments – a reality that saw an overhaul of the club’s first-team squad.

Similar changes have also been undertaken at Colney, as City look to rely more heavily on their top-flight academy.

Norwich currently sit ninth in the Championship table.

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