Putting fans in the picture

PUBLISHED: 08:32 09 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:16 14 September 2010

Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones last night broke their silence over Nigel Worthington's future by issuing a vote of confidence. In a 1000-word statement the majority shareholders denied speculation that a "special relationship" with the manager had marred their judgement but stressed that, for the time being at least, they saw no need for change.

Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones last night broke their silence over Nigel Worthington's future by issuing a vote of confidence.

In a 1000-word statement the majority shareholders denied speculation that a "special relationship" with the manager had marred their judgement but stressed that, for the time being at least, they saw no need for change.

Coming amidst increasing unrest, the statement stops short of an unequivocal vote of confidence - often regarded as a poisoned chalice.

It was only when pressed in television and radio interviews that the husband and wife team offered their full support.

However, the EDP - which today prints the statement in full - was denied the opportunity to put its own questions to the couple.

In an interview with Anglia News, Delia said: "Nigel not only has our support but he has the support of the board, executives and indeed the Carrow Road staff.

"We have debated this and the conclusion is that, as a football club with few resources, the best way forward is through continuity."

This was a point reiterated on BBC News when she said: "We do all believe Nigel can turn things around."

Asked about the reasoning behind the decision not to dismiss Worthington, Delia added: "If you take such action you have to find somebody else and you have to ask will that somebody else be any better."

Delia and Michael also moved to reassure fans that the best interests of the club remain their priority. They denied blind loyalty to Worthington and said they would be prepared to take tough decisions if the need arose.

The statement reads: "We do not serve your best interests by thinking one-dimensionally, we do have to consider the wider picture.

"But know this, if the time does come when we all collectively feel the manager is not right, we will have no hesitation in changing things."

While defending supporters' right to protest, the statement calls for unity and urges fans to remain patient.

"Rebuilding confidence is a delicate affair. Unfortunately disappointment can lead to a strained and at times negative atmosphere in the ground," it reads.

"This in turn can become a major factor in contributing to you losing more. It simply undermines the team. Under these circumstances silence or counter-productive chants and boos will not win us matches.

"On a personal note here, between us we have nearly 90 years of support Norwich and neither of us have before heard a section of the crowd booing when we are winning."

The EDP had hoped to question Delia and Michael directly. However, interview requests were refused meaning questions - including what set of circumstances would be required in order for Worthington to be dismissed - went unanswered.

Canaries spokesman Joe Ferrari defended the club's decision to refuse the print media the opportunity to interview the couple.

He said: "Delia and Michael spent some considerable time working on this statement and the decision was taken to grant interviews to television and radio who rely on spoken word and pictures.

"The purpose of these interviews was to talk around the statement although it would be true to say certain points may have been elaborated upon.

"If they had had more time, Delia and Michael would have been happy to grant interviews to the print media."

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