Problems cause board sleepless nights

PUBLISHED: 22:52 05 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 10 September 2010

Norwich chairman Roger Munby (centre), flanked by NCISA's John Tilson and Kathy Blake. Picture: Nick Butcher

Norwich chairman Roger Munby (centre), flanked by NCISA's John Tilson and Kathy Blake. Picture: Nick Butcher

Paddy Davitt

Norwich chairman Roger Munby admitted City's board is suffering 'sleepless nights' over the club's Championship relegation battle.

Munby and chief executive Neil Doncaster were held to account at last night's lively meeting of the Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association (NCISA).

Norwich chairman Roger Munby admitted City's board is suffering 'sleepless nights' over the club's Championship relegation battle.

Munby and chief executive Neil Doncaster were held to account at last night's lively meeting of the Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association (NCISA). The club's hierarchy was forced to defend its record since the Canaries' Premiership exit that leaves Bryan Gunn's squad now locked in a desperate Championship dogfight.

“We do take responsibility for the situation we find ourselves in,” said Munby. “The number of sleepless nights myself, Neil and others have experienced multiply exponentially as things get tougher. This hurts me as much as anyone else but I tell you I firmly believe we will avoid relegation - however much it will pain us going through this process.”

Munby dismissed suggestions that City's board had squandered the club's multi-million pound Premiership legacy.

“Are we a woeful board? I can think of worse,” he said. “We have always tried to use the resources we have to the best of our ability and we have done that for a number of years. One thing we do have is a weight of experience. You may well say that doesn't help much as you made a complete lash of the last two managers - but experience does count.

“Mistakes have been made - we know that. One was Peter Grant, one was Glenn Roeder. We've been through a number of scenarios together - promotion, relegation, we have triumphed, we have shed tears.

“We are a bunch of intelligent, committed people and we are fans just like you are. We understand the size of this club and what it means - not just to the supporters who come to the matches but the wider Norfolk community who have a real affection for this football club.”

Doncaster reiterated that football 'deal maker' Keith Harris had failed to attract any potential fresh investors following the end of Towergate impresario Peter Cullum's public courting of the club.

“I think there is a common perception that there are people who want to put money into the club and have been prevented from doing so,” he said. “Unfortunately that is a perception that is wholly different from reality. Peter Cullum made no offer to buy the club at any stage and in my 12 years at the club no-one has ever made any offer to Delia and Michael to buy their shares in the club at all. There are no investors at this point who want to come into the club.”

“We remain interested in any potential investors but in the current climate those people are just not out there.

“We talk to a lot of people but at present we continue to remain reliant on the generosity of our benefactors. That is probably not what you want to hear but it is the truth.”

Doncaster also backed Munby's clarion call that Norwich will survive in the Championship.

“Once we start talking up relegation as a real possibility then we are starting to accept it,” he said. “I can assure you no-one at this club is accepting relegation at all.”

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