The inside track on Farke’s City contract talks
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
Stuart Webber has revealed Daniel Farke’s new Norwich City contract was a long time in the planning.
Farke extended his stay until 2022, alongside his core coaching team, with the news announced prior to Wednesday’s 3-2 Championship win over Hull City that moved the Canaries two points clear at the top.
Both head coach and sporting director sounded a relaxed note in public as the clock ticked into the final months of Farke’s existing deal, but Webber admitted he initially broached the subject midway through the German’s debut season.
“We first spoke the Christmas before last about it. Then we spoke more in the summer and a lot of the conversations were purely about where is the football club going. That is the most important thing,” he said.
“Then the season starts, it gets busy, so we had another sit down in Tampa (winter training camp) and went into some more detail about how we take things forward on the sporting side, because we are very much a team. It is not sporting director and head coach in that regard.
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“Then it was about speaking to his representatives and that is when it can take a long time because the contract Daniel came in on was as an unproven coach, Norwich’s first foreign coach under a sporting director model which had never been tried before at this club.
“The club has evolved a lot, just look at Colney and the facilities there. That is a different place to two years ago when we first came in.”
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City were very keen to tie Farke down for another three seasons.
“We wanted Daniel to commit to three years, not one or two, and the contract had to reflect that,” said Webber. “It is also had to be future-proof, because who knows what the demands on our head coach look like 12 months from here? Then he had his family situation, which has to be right.
“Along the way meetings get cancelled or Christmas gets in the way. I was ill for one of the scheduled meetings, for example.
“So about a month ago we just sat down together, me and him, and thrashed out the final points and then it is about the paperwork and getting it signed. Daniel is our most important employee so it couldn’t be rushed.
“We have to make sure both him and his staff are settled, and the terms and conditions reflect that.”
Farke, himself, consistently placed progress on the pitch above sorting out his longer term future in recent months.
“I wasn’t willing to speak about this when the season started and we then had a busy period like Christmas. You could say it was over several months but it was always clear I would sign,” he said.
“When I signed the first time, believe me, I had some easier options, because I knew about the situation after relegation and the financial pressure and knew it would be a difficult option.
“Even in England as well, not just in Germany, I had options and maybe at first sight you could say bigger options but look at my coaching career upto that point.
“I have never had some big plan about where I am going or what I want to do.
“For me, it is more important to be convinced of the next step that I can put my heart into. I have always fulfilled my contracts, even when there have been offers from clubs with bigger names.”