NCFC and fans' groups reach truce

Showdown talks between angry Norwich City fans and the Carrow Road hierarchy have brought a truce in the furious row over whether Canary boss Nigel Worthington should be sacked.

Showdown talks between angry Norwich City fans and the Carrow Road hierarchy have brought a truce in the furious row over whether Canary boss Nigel Worthington should be sacked.

An influential fans' group last night met Norwich City bosses to discuss their concerns over the way the club is being run while the vociferous Worthy Out campaign pledged to cool down their protests.

Canaries' chairman Roger Munby and chief executive Neil Doncaster were among club officials to have a 90-minute discussion with 10 representatives from the Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association (NCISA).

They thrashed out some of the issues which angered fans so much that 500 of them packed a public meeting at St Andrew's Hall to call for Worthington to be sacked.

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But following last night's meeting supporters and Carrow Road bosses said the clear the air talks had been very positive.

Mr Blower, chairman of NCISA, said: “We had a frank and mindful discussion.

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“The football club has had vast amounts of letters. It's fair to say that very many people expressed their concerns and I think the football club is aware now of the wide range of opinions that have been expressed.”

Nine other members of the NCISA joined Mr Blower at the meeting. They were: John Tilson, Kathy Blake, Daphne Griffiths, Clare Williamson, Peter Wolsey, Chris Read, Gary Reeve, John Wilkinson and Anthony Parke.

Mr Blower said no assurances were given to him nor any of the committee about what might happen over the next few weeks. “I don't think they can,” he said. “What we do know is everything is possible in life, nothing is permanent.”

Mr Blower said he was pleased with the way the meeting went and hinted there could be more before the season is out.

“It was the initial meeting and it's difficult to express everything in an hour and a half,” he said.

“We're not complaining, we have to be honest and say there aren't many football clubs that would be prepared to allow the opportunity to discuss at the level we did last night. We're fortunate this is a listening club.”

There is an indication from fans' groups that protests are to be wound down. Mr Blower said: “We don't want to see fans falling out with one another - we all want what's best for the football club. The club has said it will look at all the questions raised at the St Andrew's Hall meeting.”

Following last night's meeting at Carrow Road, a club spokesman said: “We would like to thank the NCISA committee for taking the time to meet with us and give us a summary of the views expressed at the recent meeting at St Andrew's Hall. A cross-section of supporters expressed strong concerns at the public meeting and the NCISA committee constructively passed on a summary of those opinions at this evening's meeting.

“A healthy discussion between the NCISA committee members and NCFC representatives Roger Munby (chairman), Neil Doncaster (chief executive), Kevan Platt (club secretary) and Joe Ferrari (head of media) took place, with NCISA passing on questions and proposals put to them by supporters.”

Before the Canaries' home match with Stoke City, protesters called for Nigel Worthington to be sacked. The club's majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones made a statement publicly backing the manager last week. The Canaries were tipped to win promotion this year, but are now a long way off the promotion places. However, the team have won their last three home games and were unlucky not to beat promotion pacesetters Leeds United on Saturday.

The Worthy Out campaign revealed yesterday they had no plans to organise a protest before Saturday's game against Sheffield United at Carrow Road and called on all supporters to follow their lead. Tim Amphlett, of the Yarmouth Yellows supporters' group, said: “It depends on the next few games - if we put in inept performances people will have a go.”

Norwich City vice-chairman Barry Skipper apologised for his recent comments comparing fans baying for Worthington to go with people who abuse nurses, saying he was quoted out of context.

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