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Norwich City unlikely to make double signing over international break

PUBLISHED: 07:30 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:42 20 March 2017

Norwich chairman Ed Balls is confident Alan Irvine can take the team beyond his two-game brief. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich chairman Ed Balls is confident Alan Irvine can take the team beyond his two-game brief. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Ed Balls admits it is ‘unlikely’ Norwich City will unveil a sporting director and head coach over the international break.

Ed Balls confirmed no final choice has been made on the new sporting director. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Ed Balls confirmed no final choice has been made on the new sporting director. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The Canaries’ chairman ruled ex-England boss Roy Hodgson out of the running ahead of Saturday’s 2-0 Championship win over Barnsley.

City outlined their new blueprint prior to that Tykes victory, with Steve Stone becoming managing director, and revealed the hunt for a sporting director is at ‘an advanced stage’.

“We have not made a decision and got it down to one candidate but we are a long way down the road,” said Balls. “We have had a lot of discussions and people have been met. We are not at the final interview stage. Since last weekend we have had a deluge of people wanting the job, or agents and senior figures touting people for both jobs. We are going to move as quickly as we can.

“I think it is unlikely we make appointments on both roles by this week. The reason we decided to terminate Alex (Neil’s) contract is because we wanted the football structure in place for the beginning of the close season. If we can do it faster than that then that would be great. The most important thing is this summer and next season.”

Alan Irvine will remain in temporary charge after guiding the Canaries to within five points of the play-offs.

“Alan is very experienced to do what he is doing beyond the international break,” said Balls. “If we do not bring in someone before then he is well-qualified and happy to do the role to keep things going through future games. Steve Stone and I have both spoken to him and if the right thing is for him to manage the (Aston) Villa game or subsequent games he won’t find that out the night before. Unfortunately that was the case with the timing around Alex’s departure.

“The reality is if we get to the play-offs and could get up then that is a different challenge for us although, realistically, most fans would say that is going to be a stretch. If we can get individuals in place before the end of the season that is a bonus. What we don’t want to be is in a position where these roles are not filled by June or July. It makes sense to bring in a sporting director who is then heavily involved in a head coach appointment. That is way around we want to do this.

“We want to move as quickly as we can so there is a tension there. We said back in January we wanted to look more strategically at what is right in the second decade of the 21st century for a professional football club. Our thinking was to bring in a sporting director early on and that was something Delia and Michael strongly felt was right to address the recruitment side but obviously with Alex (Neil) moving on that gives us an opportunity to get things in the right order.”

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26 comments

  • Poor old Ed is a busy man, he needs to practice his gangnam style dance for red nose night, cut him some slack guys. On a serious note, I think the board might be hedging their bets in the hope that Irvine will string a few wins together, problem solved. Only NCFC would drag their heels over appointing a new manager, what a golden opportunity to get someone in with eight games left to assess the squad and sort out before the close season, after all part of the blame in our relegation was apportioned to being in the playoffs and not having time to prepare properly. Come on Board, your excuses are starting to look lame, if they were not before.

    Report this comment

    Bald Canary

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Dan can you tell me what bigs changes have been made since the boards plans were revealed.

    Report this comment

    bryanhobson

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • There's no serious decisions going to be made during international break? Now that's not surprising is it now???

    Report this comment

    Houstoncanary

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Irish, I disagree - it just puts another person inbetween the manager and the board. That serves no purpose. The manager should deal direct with the board, otherwise he won't have the full control that he should be trusted with.

    Report this comment

    Johny

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • A mate just showed me the job ad an The Sun: "Underperforming football club seeks Chief Scapegoat to take blame for the inevitable future failure due to the lack of professionalism of the Board of Directors. A generous salary is offered (in 1960's terms anyway) along with many other benefits such as Saturday afternoon entertainment and all the pies you could ever want. The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate skills in remaining silent in board meetings and showing respect to failed politicians, failed civil servants, a cook past her sell-by date and all members of her family. An interest in or knowledge of football is not essential and in fact would probably be a distinct disadvantage as would any ambition or will to succeed. Please send applications to the address below. Interviews will be held sometime or other when we get around to it assuming we get more than one applicant. Should we get more than one application, the job will be offered to the candidate with the lowest salary expectation although this does not imply that the club will meet that salary expectation. A half-day off will be offered each week to enable the successful candidate to sign on and keep his or her job seekers' allowance and or other government benefits. Finally discount is offered on a tracksuit (size mens' small short only). Thank you."

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • I don't understand why anyone would have a problem with this new structure. Many have been complaining for a long time that there isn't enough people in the senior management with football experience. Effectively, AN was answering to people to have no,practical knowledge of the sport - surely that's not a good thing? Under the new structure, the DoF will be the conduit between the Board and the Coach - surely that's a positive? It doesn't mean that the new Coach will not have a say over transfers etc ...I would hope that he does. Our transfer dealings have been rubbish over the last few years..surely this will now improve?...where's the negative?

    Report this comment

    Irish canary

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • I still don't know what is wrong with appointing a 'Manager'. Then let the manager choose his own assistant. And I still have no idea what a 'Sporting Director' is. They are making a simple decision overly complicated. Look at when Paul Lambert came here, he ran the show and brought in his own team. Get the choice of manager right and the rest will follow. I fear this isn't going to happen...

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    Johny

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Reading between the lines, this announcement tells me that postponing the appointment of a Sporting Director is an option if the position proves difficult to fill. Especially now that the downgrading of 'long contract' manager to that of more easily disposable 'short contract' head coach is already effectively achieved by sticking with Alan Irvine under the terms of his current contract. If results continue to go reasonably well the club may be feeling that the objective of the new structure can still be achieved provided the Sporting Director is 'in place' before JuneJuly so that he (and whoever will be his head coach) can then begin sorting out a new squad in terms of who leaves and who comes in.

    Report this comment

    Armchair fan

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Well what a world we live in. Somebody doing a parody of me? Dear oh dear. I know I haven't checked the comments section for a long time but what have I missed?

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Unpaid, Dan? Are you sure of that? I though Ed had trousered a few £K for a couple of days "work" when either NcNally of Bowkett skipped the rotting ship. I see the troll is back parasitizing\ parodying Mattias333's moniker. It has found itself a new host. Usual Suspect.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Wow. Some fans. Same old few slating the board. You wanted AN out. They sacked him. You've been crying out for bigs changes, so they have done it. You accuse the owners of bad money management yet berate the unpaid chairman. Just let them get on with it.

    Report this comment

    Dan

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Trevor Keith: yes, the Board surely hasn't suddenly come up with the idea? You would have expected it to have been discussed and thought-out a while back and as such it would have been logical and sensible for them to have identified some possible candidates. I remain concerned about the Board's decision-making when it comes to recruitment but just hope they will get this one right as it is vital for the club's future. The principle of sharing the load is sound. The appointments and execution of the plan will be the real test.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Ed is taking sense. Recruit from the top down. If Irvine gets us into the playoffs then that's all to the good. If he is respected by the players them that's good for everyone. He has the authority of experience.

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Get out of bed the wrong side today matt31? waspy words today. Suggest you go back to your pit, PLAY with yourself as almost suggested by mr grouchy and get out the other side when your finished.

    Report this comment

    lbt

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • ......or even "Mr Balls", to give him his correct title.

    Report this comment

    Barking Wise

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Me Balls, have you thought about editing an evening newspaper, taking a part time consultancy position with an American multi-national company or writing your autobiography.? Any one of those things could earn you half a million quid. Or you could do all three and still have time to strut your lard on the telly. Ker-ching! You wouldn't be the first washed up Chancellor of the Exchequer to line his pockets mult-tasking. Just so long as one of the multi tasks is not running a football club. You might get away with writing an autobiography even though you can't write or speak English properly. Sadly, you can't get away with running a football club when you have no command (or even a clue) about.......running a football club. So, do us all a favour, will you?

    Report this comment

    Barking Wise

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Who's thick now matt21? It's "down to a T" not tea. People in glass houses etc etc....

    Report this comment

    Bellboy

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Ah, now I understand (I think) the timing of AN's departure. It was connected to his Friday press conference pre-Blackburn, where he outlined his plans for the summer. The plans themselves sounded very similar to what's likely to happen anyway, but that's beside the point. He probably already knew that, from now on, the DoF not the managercoach would be the one making those plans. First Alan Irvine, now a DoF - AN had had enough of being messed about. But instead of walking away he threw down the gauntlet for all to see - "These are MY plans, either back me or sack me" - and gave the board no option.

    Report this comment

    urban seagull

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Maybe a super fan could submit 3 posts without responding to the article ! Malaga. I agree about taking some time but unless the board are trying to take someone away from a current position it could be yet another excuse for inactivity.

    Report this comment

    Harman

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Matt31 what a thoroughly nasty set of posts. Quoting the bard and insulting folk won't compensate for your obvious insecurities so why not grow up or go and play elsewhere?

    Report this comment

    Mr. Grouchy

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • I see tommy, or matt31 as the troll is calling himself this morning, is down to his usual base comments.

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Perhaps the main problem is the board are reactive rather than proactive. I assume, but probably wrongly, that they have been considering this change in direction for some time, therefore they should long since have drawn up a list of possible candidates. I suspect Woy was at the top of the list and given he does not seem to want the job, how about contacting others on the list and simply asking them if they want the post. Although it is always possible that a candidate from overseas, may make an application, we are then just as likely to end up with another "Woolfwinkle" mistake. Those already working in English Football, know our game better than most who are not, that narrows the field and should make selection easier.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Dumb thick and clueless that's our board.Dont get to excited when it happens they have not found any one cheap enough yet.When it happens it will probably be the coaching staff we have now with the useless Garry Holt as an addition

    Report this comment

    El tel

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Sounds to me that the board are holding out making an decisions until our fate is decided as attracting an higher calibre DoF and head coach will be fair easier *if we attain promotion*. Presumably their concern is that if those two roles are filled before knowing our fate either way we could end up again with staff who are out of their depth if the unlikely does happen.

    Report this comment

    Mellow Johnny

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Time for some calm and patience. I know the Board doesn't have much of a track record with recruitment but it simply has to get this right. If it takes a while so be it. I am just hoping that, as before, we don't get the "scoured Europe" line and come up with an internal promotion because what is needed desperately is a complete see-change but in terms of football managing and coaching and also on the pitch. There is too much baggage at NCFC especially in the dressing room. If the Board can get this right then we should be laying foundations for a brighter future.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Guess not many candidates are prepared to work under the restraints of the NCFC Board , get ready for the cheap unknown option !

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Monday, March 20, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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