Norwich City confirm exits of senior staff members Ricky Martin, Tony Spearing and Lee Darnbrough

PUBLISHED: 12:27 13 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:37 13 April 2017

Technical director Ricky Martin has left Norwich City. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Technical director Ricky Martin has left Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Reports of the imminent exit of senior trio Ricky Martin, Tony Spearing and Lee Darnbrough have been confirmed by Norwich City, with all three leaving with immediate effect.

The decisions to part company with technical director Martin, head of football recruitment Spearing and head of scouting Darnbrough follow the appointment of new sporting director Stuart Webber last week.

As reported yesterday, Webber intends to revamp City’s recruitment department and is looking to bring in a head of recruitment for the UK and Europe.

Confirming Darnbrough’s and Spearing’s immediate exit, a City statement says: “The club would like to thank both of them for their time at Norwich and wish them all the very best for the next challenges in their careers.”

The more significant exit is that of Martin though, after 16 years with the club, mostly with the academy until being appointed to the football executive board by previous chief executive David McNally in 2014.

A separate statement confirming Martin’s immediate exit says: “The board of directors would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Ricky for his committed service to the club for almost 16 years across several football department roles.”

Martin added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the players, staff and supporters at Norwich City for what has been nearly 16 years working at this great football club.

“I am extremely proud to have been given the opportunity to work within several roles at the club and I can look back on some great moments and achievements that will stay with me forever. I wish everyone at the football club every success going forwards.”

PROFILES

Ricky Martin

Appointed to the role of technical director in July 2014, joining City’s football executive board alongside chief executive David McNally, manager Neil Adams and head of recruitment and scouting Barry Simmonds.

Arrived at the club in 2001 as assistant academy director and was appointed academy manager in May 2004, continuing in the role until his elevation to the senior set-up 10 years later.

Played for the Canaries as a schoolboy and was in the youth team at Cambridge United before playing for several local clubs, including Diss, Great Yarmouth and Wroxham.

Lee Darnbrough

Appointed head of scouting in July 2015, following the exit of head of recruitment and scouting Barry Simmonds four months earlier.

City said at the time he would head up scouting and match analysis, having recently finished a similar role with Burnley. Prior to joining the Clarets in 2012, Darnbrough worked as a technical scout at West Bromwich Albion.

Former Oldham Athletic goalkeeper had also worked previously in player analysis for Bolton Wanderers and Aston Villa.

Tony Spearing

Former Canaries defender returned to the club as head of recruitment last summer, leaving his role as head of scouting and recruitment at Reading to return to the club he helped to win the FA Youth Cup in 1983.

Played as a left-back for clubs including Leicester City, Plymouth Argyle and Peterborough United after leaving Norwich in 1988, having made 82 appearances.

After finishing his career locally with the likes of King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth, he had two spells as Lynn manager before moving on to scouting roles with Blackburn Rovers and West Brom, where he held the position of head of European recruitment during an eight-year spell, working alongside Lee Darnbrough.

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