What does Jez Moxey's departure mean for Norwich City boss Alex Neil?
PUBLISHED: 22:48 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 07:54 03 February 2017
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The last thing Norwich City Football Club needed right now was for their chief executive to quit.
On the footballing side, manager Alex Neil appears to have ridden out a torrid storm with a couple of vital Championship wins in a row which have reignited hopes of another play-off challenge.
Neil wants a stable backdrop to his endeavours on the pitch, but having seen David McNally depart before the end of the last season, when City were relegated from the Premier League, he is now about to work under his third commander in less than a year after Jez Moxey’s shock departure was announced last night.
It’s been a pretty rotten 12 months all round: relegation, McNally’s exit, a poor start to a season which promised so much, outrage from fans over the quality of football, over ticket prices and the club’s finances.
Star players Nathan Redmond, Martin Olsson and, on transfer deadline day, Robbie Brady, have all left the club for big, big money against a backdrop of financial constraint. The question will be asked whether anything happened in the January transfer window to prompt Moxey’s decision.
Football management is one of the least stable jobs around and Neil has just two years experience in England on his CV. This is not what he needs.
Moxey has come under fire from supporters almost from day one of his tenure in August: he helped oversee Wolves’ sale to new owners before moving east a little earlier than expected - but the cries of the Wolves fan followed him. City supporters who had been used to the tough-talking McNally, who had helped turn around the club’s fortunes after his arrival in 2009, felt a disconnect with his replacement.
In December, with the pressure on the manager, the club declined a request from this newspaper to speak to Moxey about the situation. Instead, a few days later, he turned up on the club’s TV channel and spoke. It didn’t sit well with fans, many of whom will be glad to see the back of the man from the Black Country.
The problem for the club is finding a replacement – one that will provide the stability and support Alex Neil needs.