Stuart Webber hits back at City ‘self-interest’ claims

PUBLISHED: 10:10 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:10 03 June 2020

Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber has hit back at claims that the Canaries are thinking about their own self-interest. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber has hit back at claims that the Canaries are thinking about their own self-interest. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City’s sporting director Stuart Webber has hit back at critics who claimed the Canaries were thinking of their own self-interest in discussions surrounding the return of Premier League football.

City were one of six Premier League clubs portrayed as ‘rebels’ for their supposed role in attempting to alter plans for Project Restart, according to a number of media reports.

Webber made his stance on accusations surrounding City’s supposed opposition to neutral venues and relegation last month, but has gone further to explain why the bottom six clubs felt their opinions were being disregarded because of accusations of self-interest.

“What happens is, the moment one of us opens our mouths, publicly or privately within meetings, it’s almost like we’re shot down immediately and it’s almost like we can’t offer an opinion. That’s really sad.

“Every club has got self-interest and nobody should apologise for that but when you’re trying to put things forward for the greater good of the game and it gets knocked back because it’s assumed that it’s a self-interest point, I think that’s a really sad day.

Webber's stance remains that the remainder of the season should be decided on the pitch. 
 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdWebber's stance remains that the remainder of the season should be decided on the pitch. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

“If you look at the bottom six clubs in the Premier League you’ve got Aston Villa, massive club, West Ham, massive club, Brighton, extremely well run club with an incredible owner, Watford and ourselves, really traditional British clubs and Bournemouth, let’s be honest it’s been a fairytale (for them).

“These are clubs run by good people and I find it really offensive and I’m sure the others do as well that you almost can’t open your mouth whereas sometimes you think maybe there’s more expertise on one side of the table than the other,” Webber told Radio Five Live.

“I’ll challenge anyone to read Matthew Syed’s book about rebel ideas where it talks about diversity and decision making and within that he talks about too many boards looking the same.

“This is a real case of it. Get more opinions. Get more people debating around the table because someone might have an incredible idea.”

Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber outlined Norwich City's position on Project Restart last month. Picture: ArchantNorwich City sporting director Stuart Webber outlined Norwich City's position on Project Restart last month. Picture: Archant

The Premier League season is set to resume later this month following extensive conversations between all 20 clubs.

Despite numerous reports, Webber was again keen to ensure that City’s stance on relegation was made public.

“Anytime we say anything it’s like ‘well you’re going to say that because you don’t want to get relegated’. We have never once said anything about relegation.

“If the season is played out and after 38 games we’re in the bottom three then we deserve to get relegated. We’re 20th at the moment and we deserve to be 20th. That’s a fact and the teams who are trying to come up deserve the right to play for the opportunity to come up.”

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