Munby desperate to repay faith of fans
DAVID CUFFLEY Norwich City chairman Roger Munby today spoke of the club's determination to repay the loyalty of their fans - and once again backed manager Nigel Worthington to deliver the success they all crave.
Norwich City chairman Roger Munby today spoke of the club's determination to repay the loyalty of their fans - and once again backed manager Nigel Worthington to deliver the success they all crave.
Nearly 18,000 supporters have held on to their season tickets for the 2006-07 campaign, a 90 per cent rate of renewal that put other recently-relegated clubs in the shade, despite a nondescript season in which the Canaries never figured in the top six of the Coca-Cola Championship.
But Munby and his fellow directors will be well aware that, after a season punctuated by protests against the management, brisk business at the box office represents a dogged show of loyalty rather than a huge vote of confidence.
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And he admitted that fans would be looking not just for a team challenging for promotion - but playing good football into the bargain.
He said: “Ninety per cent of fans renewing is a hugely encouraging figure and one that charges us with the responsibility of returning to a challenging position in the table and playing the kind of football the fans tell us they want to see.
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“It's a results business but performance is important and what the fans have called for is in line with our own ambitions.”
And Munby is adamant that Worthington, starting his sixth season at the helm, can bring success back to Carrow Road.
Said the chairman: “Nigel's approach to the job is full of diligence and concern and is all about rising to the challenge.”
Asked whether Worthington was still the best man to achieve City's aims, he said: “Yes, on the grounds that he's done it before and he's capable of doing it again.”
Munby said the close season would be a crucial period for City - and one of the first summer arrivals is likely to be a new first-team coach, following the sacking of Steve Foley.
He said: “There are departures and there will be arrivals and the position of first-team coach is a very, very key position.
“The people we have looked at are rich in experience and contacts. It was a well-targeted list and we know the criteria we are trying to follow.”
As for spending on new players, Munby said: “There is a budget. It won't be huge but we're not in the situation facing many clubs, where they don't have a budget at all.”
He said: “It's a very important summer and the aims and feelings we have around the boardroom table are driven by that level of renewal.
“Like many experiences throughout last season, it re-iterates the commitment and strength of feeling that people have for the football club.
“Another instance of that during the season was the turnout at St Andrew's Hall and the fervour and passion people showed, and the way we run the football club demands that we listen to all of that.
“We go into next season knowing we need to be challenging for a better, much more satisfying year. Last season was very frustrating and we understand the feelings of our supporters.”