Ex-City midfielder questions ‘poor timing’ of Sinani deal
PUBLISHED: 13:46 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:20 14 April 2020
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Gary O’Neil feels Norwich City have got it wrong in unveiling Danel Sinani while the Canaries furloughed staff in the midst of football’s shutdown due to the global pandemic.
O’Neil called out the Canaries on Talksport on Tuesday after official confirmation came prior to the Easter break the 23-year-old had signed a pre-contract to join the club from July.
Sinani remains on the books of F91 Dudelange with no financial outlay due to the player until this summer - a point plenty of City fans have made in response to O’Neil’s radio appearance.
“I thought the timing of announcing a new player was poor. It was a strange one,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with Norwich furloughing some of their staff. They are not a club who are financially up there with the big clubs. They are not going to be rolling in money and have all this spare cash to keep paying people when they don’t have any income coming in.
“I am fine with the people of Norwich saying we need to furlough some staff. I get that. They are trying to run a business. I just think while you are furloughing staff adding a new player to the wage bill is not a great look. It could have been handled better. They could have possibly delayed it.
“We haven’t seen any wage cuts from the players yet so they could have painted a better picture of the club. Adding players to the squad at the same time does not paint them in a fantastic light. Norwich is a fantastic club. I loved my time there and they do things very well.
“They run the club very well and if they didn’t have to furlough staff I am sure they wouldn’t have done. I have no problem with that. Adding a new signing at this time doesn’t look great.”
Norwich’s playing staff pledged to donate in excess of £190,000, which was boosted by head coach Daniel Farke, members of the club’s executive committee and the board, to help individuals and charities impacted by the virus. City’s squad have also joined their Premier League colleagues in committing to raise millions as part of the #PlayersTogether movement to bolster NHS charities.