Ex-Norwich caretaker boss on Neil Doncaster - and a surprise wage rise
- Credit: Paul Thomas/Sportsbeat Images
Former Norwich City chief executive Neil Doncaster is being labelled as Scotland’s most wanted man after the shambolic vote on how to end the season north of the border.
But he has found an ally from his Carrow Road days, who has jumped to his defence.
Jim Duffy was assistant to manager Peter Grant in 2006-2007 and stepped up to a caretaker role for three games when Grant left – and was the recipient of a wage rise from Doncaster, without even asking.
Now in charge of Dumbarton, Duffy says Doncaster, the SPFL chief executive who is under fire for the handling of Friday’s vote, is one of the best bosses he has worked for.
“I know Neil Doncaster’s in the firing line in his current job, but my experience of him was he was terrific to work for, really good,” said Duffy in an interview with the Scottish Sun.
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“He was unobtrusive, really supportive and let the guys on the football side get on with their jobs. He trusted you and there was never any interference.
“He dealt with the business side and when he was at Norwich it was a club that was run as professionally as any I have ever worked for.
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I’ve nothing but good things to say about him.
“When Peter Grant resigned as manager Neil came to me and said, ‘What can we do to get Peter to change his mind’? He tried to do things he felt were right for Norwich and he felt it was worth trying to convince Peter to stay.
“But when that didn’t happen I was in the frame for the job. And again, he was really helpful.
“I was in interim charge and I wanted to bring in John Hartson on loan.
“There was no questioning it. Doncaster trusted my judgment and he got the deal done. It went to a final three when they were looking for Peter’s replacement and when I was interviewed, Doncaster was part of that process. Glenn Roeder got the job.
“When I was at Norwich it was the only time I’ve ever been given an improved contract without asking for it. Neil came in one day and handed me a letter and I immediately thought, ‘Oh oh, what’s this?’.
“Normally when a chief executive hands you a letter, there’s a P45 inside it.
“But it was nicely-written letter, which I’ve still got, saying a few complimentary things and informing me the club had decided to increase my salary.
“I said to Doncaster, ‘I didn’t ask for this’. But he said Norwich were really appreciative of how well I’d worked.”